Retailers signed up to Blakemore’s fascia Bmorelocal claimed they were “abandoned” when Blakemore closed its wholesale arm.

As Blakemore sold of its wholesale operation, it gave the Bmorelocal store owners it was partnered with one month’s notice that they would no longer be continuing the fascia.

Beverly Williams and her partner, Roland Edwards, joined Bmorelocal in April 2017 and undertook a store rebuild with the symbol group. Williams later won Blakemore’s retailer of the year award 2017. The store owner told Retail Express: “Our investment of time and trust in the
fascia has been repaid with false promises and abandonment. 

“They said we’d get a business development manager to help us after the rebuild but there was never any support.”

Pardeep Sakaria, owner of BK stores in Immingham, was the first retailer to open a Bmorelocal store. “I found out a month before that they are closing the fascia, but the signs were on the wall. 

“Availability was poor and they stopped doing own brand. It’s really upsetting because we invested in the brand but Blakemore didn’t,” he said.

A former Blakemore wholesale employee told Retail Express: “The Bmorelocal offering had a lot of potential, and a lot of interest when it was launched, but internally the project started to lose support and it wasn’t given the resources it needed to grow. Spar was always the priority.”

Blakemore Wholesale director James Russell told Retail Express that the decision to close depots “was not taken lightly and at all times priority was given to reducing the impact to colleagues, customers and suppliers. Where we can, we continue to support those impacted by this decision.”

Read more: Meet the retailers behind Blakemore's first Bmorelocal store