"The way we give great service to all our customers and add value to our trade partners"

Even before the evolution of the term “corporate responsibility”, the principles that lie behind this concept have been at the heart of our business model.

This can be seen in the company’s longstanding partnerships with small independent retailers in the face of increasingly aggressive competition from the major multiples.

The business principle that lies at the heart of the SPAR organisation is related to mutual cooperation. However this idea permeates across our business, whether it is in support of our Lifestyle Express and Apex retailers, or key customers through our Foodservice or Fresh Foods operations.

This is also extended to our interaction with suppliers, which can be seen most clearly in regards to our Fine Foods operation. 

Some further examples are listed below:

  • Our membership of SPAR UK and Landmark Wholesale illustrates how we work in partnership with key trade partners to achieve mutual benefit for business, our customers and our suppliers. 
  • The original concept of SPAR brings independent retailers together and allows them to benefit from increased buying power and a strong brand.  However this extends to a wide array of services, including the Guild Academy, our free training service for SPAR retailers, store investment schemes and our Retail Partners Programme.
  • All the local stores either owned or served by A.F. Blakemore are an integral part of the communities they serve. They employ local people, undertake charitable work in their local community and seek to work with small, local suppliers in their area. 

SPAR supporting local suppliers

SPAR supporting local people
  • Our Fine Foods network supports more than 190 small, local producers across Britain by distributing their goods to market.  This has reduced food miles across the distribution chain. 
  • We regularly host celebratory events with our customers to celebrate excellence and the work that our customers do in the communities that they serve. This includes our annual SPAR Retail Show, Foodservice Catering Awards and Wholesale Retailer of the Year awards.
  • We also work with customers to help reduce their impact upon the environment by providing a recycling service via our recycling centre and the provision of a waste cooking oil collection service for catering customers. 

The work that we do in the marketplace has been recognised via a number of external awards in recent years. A few of these are listed below:

Business in the Community (2014)
Blakemore Fine Foods - Big Tick & Example of Excellence - Enterprise Growth category

Business in the Community (2014)
Blakemore Logistics - Big Tick - Sustainable Products and Services category

Business in the Community (2011, 2012 and 2013)
Blakemore Fine Foods - Big Tick - Responsible Supply Chain Award

Re:fresh Awards (2012)    
Produce Convenience Retailer of the Year

Convenience Tracking Programme  (2011)
Blakemore Retail - Best Managed Retailer (over 50 stores)