AF Blakemore has pumped £5m into a state-of-the-art cash & carry depot in Wolverhampton that will serve as a prototype for the rest of its estate.
The new 77,000 sq ft depot at the Science Park in Wolverhampton also has office space to house HQ staff from AF Blakemore’s C& C division. This has been renamed Blakemore Wholesale to reflect the growth of the delivered business, which now operates from six out of Blakemore’s eight C&Cs, said trading director Russell Grant.
The depot has a greatly enhanced chilled and fresh range and more lines to attract catering customers, while ambient and non-food lines have been significantly scaled back, said Grant. “We are embarking on a massive range rationalisation. We’ve probably got more than 25,000 SKUs in our range altogether, far more than we need, whereas this depot has about 12,000 lines.”
The first port of call was non-food, said Grant. “Now the focus will be on great deals on a when-it’s-gone-it’s-gone basis, instead of having seven different types of TV or kettle.”