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Colleagues Praised for Outstanding Service in Coronavirus Crisis

March 19, 2020

Customers and SPAR retailers have thanked A.F. Blakemore colleagues for their commitment to outstanding customer service during the coronavirus outbreak.

Despite facing challenges, retail, logistics and support teams across the company have been pulling together to do their best to minimise the impact to service levels and keep SPAR stores and depots serving local communities.

Individual SPAR stores have also launched their own brilliant initiatives to help the vulnerable and elderly.

Some retailers are offering free delivery and drive-through services, where customers can have pre-ordered goods delivered directly to their home or car. One store is offering free coffees for carers and NHS workers.

Group HR & Strategy Director Ian Diment commented: “We really do appreciate all colleague efforts in keeping the wheels turning throughout the business as we work hard to navigate the pandemic whilst maintaining service to our customers.

“Thank you for your amazing support in delivering a great and vital service to customers and shoppers within our local communities.”

A.F. Blakemore is recognising colleagues who are delivering exceptional customer service during this unprecedented time via its Blakemore GEMs (Going the Extra Mile) award scheme.

If you know a colleague who deserves recognition, please take photographs and send stories of their heroics to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) for the business to celebrate and share. Click here for a Blakemore GEMs nomination form.

Here are some of the positive comments received by the company’s retailers, customers and colleagues:

Can someone at Blakemore’s please pass on our thanks to the depot staff at what must be a challenging time. I know that our orders have been ridiculously big (and are being submitted all through the day!) but we are chuffed with how much is on our delivery today. Thank you for making a difficult time easier. Retailer Jacqui Dales

We all moan at times, but there is a reason why my family has been partnered with Blakemore's through our store for 32 years. You always try your best for us and it is greatly appreciated, even if we don’t always make it obvious. Retailer Jonathan Stanway

Thank you Blakemore’s for our delivery today. Obviously some shortages but on the whole very pleased with what we did get. Just like to say thank you again. Without you our small community would not be able to cope. And that’s a fact. Retailer Tommy Gee

Today I received three cages of toilet paper. I must say AFB, you are doing a fantastic job under extreme circumstances. Well done. Retailer Nick Clifton

Do you think you could pass our thanks on to the Blakemore team? They are trying so hard to keep things on track for us in a fairly desperate situation. We so often forget to say thank you, and it is hard work for everybody. I want them to know that we know how hard it is! Retailer Rachael Hockmeyer

The commitment you and the team at AFB are showing is magnificent. When I get a call at 7pm from Russ Madden who is still at the depot looking after our interests, words cannot express our appreciation. Keep up the great work. I appreciate it, as do our staff and customers. Retailer Julian Taylor-Green

We are one of the stores getting our delivery of ambient on Sunday. Even though it causes problems we totally understand and are thankful for the work everyone in the Blakemore team is doing to keep us as well supplied as possible. We have never seen sales like it and can only imagine what it is like at the warehouse. So thank you all and keep up the amazing work. Retailer Christian Slingsby

The whole of the world is facing extreme unprecedented times at the moment. I felt the need to let you know, even under these circumstances, that recent experience from your team at Barmouth, Gwynedd SPAR has been outstanding. The customer service has been so impressive. They should be commended. Debbie Ball, Sarnfaen Holiday Park

Just a quick note of recognition to the team in Foodservice who support local authorities – they have been fielding a record number of requests from local authorities who have all been upended by the challenges this past week. Matt Johnson, Lisa Barber, Nicky Hill and Nikki Cooper have been working tirelessly to help keep the country fed.  Well done team!!! 

Debra Allen in Wholesale Distribution has been working with the Royal Voluntary Service to secure a contract with the Government to supply ‘Help from Hospital’ bags. These bags are a vital tool in helping to keep NHS staff fed at home, while also providing home essentials to support patients leaving hospital. The team has initial demand for 60,000 bags and are supporting a key partner and our communities… Great work Debra!

Blakemore Retail customers have also been praising store colleagues. Here is a snapshot of the great feedback we've received on the following stores: 

Winterton: Really want to praise this shop. All shelves are full and the staff are fab, calming people down and even talking about helping the elderly in their own time with deliveries. Fabulous people in there, SPAR should be proud.

Wombourne: Always such lovely staff! It feels so much less lonely with you all doing all you can to support us. Thank you!

Wells: You guys are a credit to the community, and your staff are always so happy and helpful.

Droitwich: Absolutely amazing team of staff, they should all be proud of themselves.

Rhydyfelin: Thank you. It’s a pleasure to go to your Rhydyfelin store, fabulous staff.

Walsall Manor Hospital: Just a quick message to say how amazing it is that staff have this safe space to get essentials. Thanks for being the calm food shop in the chaos that is outside of the hospital!

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SPAR Crewe

SPAR Ewenny Road

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A message from a happy customer thanking Ann at SPAR Cefn Fforest for going the extra mile


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