Announced at the conference and trade show in Telford, the new focus centres on designing stores to meet the lifestyle needs of the communities in which they operate, with a differentiated offer reflecting the core shopping missions of customers.
A.F. Blakemore Group marketing director, Sarah Ellis, explained: “The customers who visit our stores are not all the same, and a one size fits all approach is no longer an option for retailers who want to remain current and competitive. Our new strategy recognises both the consumer need and commercial opportunity for us to create a store estate that has the flexibility to respond to the needs of the audience it serves. We want our stores to be the most convenient places to shop.”
Blakemore has analysed more than 500 million transactions of shoppers to understand the core shopping missions and enable the business to segment its Spar estate across five cluster types. These clusters will determine the space, range, pricing and marketing promotional strategy for individual stores and will influence both strategic and operational developments.
Commercial managing director, Jerry Marwood, then spoke about the strength of the Blakemore group of companies and underlined its commitment to long-term sustainable growth, citing the investment in a new distribution centre in Bedford to provide the business with additional supply-chain capacity, as well as new digital technology, including CRM, commercial and delivery tracking systems.
Meanwhile, later in the evening at the annual awards ceremony, Richard Barron picked up the Baldwin Cup n recognition of his commitment to developing his business, after he carried out two major store refits at Newbold Road and Hope as part of Blakemore’s store programme over the past 12 months.
Blakemore trade partners sales director Louis Drake commented: “Richard has demonstrated outstanding commitment to developing his business, completing not one but two excellent flagship store programme refits in the last 12 months.
“He runs six stores to a very high standard and is a great advocate of Spar and A.F. Blakemore, supporting our brand for many years as a very successful retailer. Richard’s great strength is his focus on the strong commercial performance of his business while delivering the highest levels of customer service and operational standards and providing an excellent place to work for his employees. Congratulations on this very well-deserved win.”
The rest of the winners were as follows:
Alcohol Supplier of the Year: Accolade Wines
Fresh/Frozen Supplier of the Year: Addo Foods
Grocery Supplier of the Year: General Mills
Non-food Supplier of the Year: Café Connections
Product of the Year: CanOWater
Best Grab and Eat: Hillcroft
Best Grab and Eat: Thaxters
Best Making a Meal: Bassingham
Best Promotional Implementation: Roadchef Clacket Lane
Best Forecourt (Multi-site): EG Thame
Best Forecourt (Independent): Hockmeyer Motors
Best Community Engagement: Castle Acre
The Big Investment: Ruskington