Blakemore to launch hybrid Spar Philpotts store in Birmingham

The company-owned site will be based at Brindleyplace in Birmingham, with the Philpotts concession serving a range of fresh hot and cold food, as well as coffee.

Brindleyplace SPAR

AF Blakemore is to open a new hybrid store combining the Spar and Philpotts sandwich brands, with the concept being made available to independents, depending on its success.

The company-owned site will open on 6 April and is based at Brindleyplace in Birmingham. Blakemore notably saved the sandwich chain from administration in 2019, stating it would help it “enhance its retail offer” and bring in “significant opportunities to develop the brand” while incorporating elements of Philpotts into its wider business.

RN understands that if the hybrid store is a success, it is likely the concept will made available to Spar franchise stores supplied by Blakemore. Pricings and support for the larger concessions are not yet known.

A 15-year lease has been signed on the new site, which previously housed popular sandwich bar Baguette du Monde. As a result, the store was already fully equipped, making it ideal for testing the new concept.

The offering from Philpotts is to include food to go freshly prepared in store, hot and cold sandwiches, salads and soups, with breakfast options being served until 11am, as well as desserts such as bubble waffles.

AF Blakemore’s property director, Mark Titley, said he hoped the concept will help continue “to innovate the convenience store proposition, bringing the AF Blakemore sister brand Philpotts into Spar and creating a store designed to serve the key missions of Brindleyplace visitors, workers and community”.

He added: “We hugely appreciate our longstanding relationship with the estate team at Brindleyplace and look forward to opening this new store.”

The development marks the first time Blakemore has offered the general public access to a larger Spar Philpotts hybrid, despite a similar concession already existing nearby in Birmingham Airport.

Head of customer engagement and placemaking at the location Matt Long revealed the intention is for “the new retail concept to appeal to our occupiers and visitors”.

“One of the strengths of Brindleyplace is how it offers space for the full range of occupiers, especially businesses and organisations looking for flexible and productive space in which to do business,” he said.

Titley added the concept represents an opportunity for a significant footfall driver and creates a point of interest.

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