Pledge to support Spar stores

AF Blakemore has launched a new store model, providing prospective store owners with support in securing and operating a retail premises.

Under the ‘commission operator’ model, Blakemore will provide company-owned Spar stores to prospective retailers looking to manage a convenience store under the symbol group’s branding.

Spar Leominster in Herefordshire, which is about to undergo a refit, became the first store to operate under the model in September, and Blakemore is developing plans to extend the model further.

Blakemore Trade Partners sales director Louis Drake said: “Blakemore’s new commission operator trading model will enable entrepreneurial independent retailers to operate their own businesses and will provide a platform for growth and expansion in the coming years by broadening our scope of retail outlets.

“The model will provide us with new opportunities to acquire sites that would not have fitted our previous trading models and therefore will bring us greater flexibility.”

Dasitha Gamage, who is operating the shop, added: “Not only are we benefitting from the well-known Spar brand, a dedicated business development manager and training, marketing and supply chain support, but as a commission operator, we are also benefitting from Blakemore’s site investment.”