Blakemore Wholesale’s Killingworth depot in North Tyneside will shut on 8 June as part of the company’s plans to exit the retail wholesale sector.
The news comes a day after United Wholesale Grocers announced its purchase of Blakemore’s Gateshead depot. Despite the Gateshead depot sale, staff at the Killingworth site are advising customers to move their purchasing away to the Gateshead site rather than to an alternative Blakemore depot.
Andy Banks from Andy’s News in Goldthorpe who uses a Blakemore depot in Barnsley told Better Wholesaling partner brand BetterRetailing that an email went to Blakemore staff yesterday (24 May) stating that the Killingworth depot was closing.
“The writing has been on the wall for a while and the staff are really worried. Availability has dropped down since they announced they were putting their depots up for sale and they have been de-listing bestselling lines like slush mix and Nescafé coffee for the to-go machines.”
In April, Blakemore announced that its wholesale division was up for sale and it was trying to find a buyer for all of its sites as a going concern. However, the confirmed closure of one depot and rumours of more to follow show this has not been possible.
Both East End Foods and Parfetts were rumoured to be closing in on deals for other depots owned by Blakemore but this was denied by senior sources at both the potential buyers who said that this was not the case.
In 2017, Blakemore sold off one depot to Bidfood and shut down another citing poor financial performance.
Blakemore is yet to comment on the recent depot changes.