Staff Zone Banner

Staff Zone News


SPAR Takes Top Prize for Luxury Mince Pies

October 15, 2020

The UK’s best mince pies are officially only available at SPAR

Read More


AFB Pension Scheme Webinar: View Now

October 15, 2020

A.F. Blakemore has recorded a pension scheme webinar for colleagues

Read More


Blakemore Trade Partners Announces Virtual SPAR Retail Show

October 14, 2020

Blakemore Trade Partners announces its first-ever virtual SPAR Retail Show

Read More


A.F. Blakemore Launches Own-brand Food-to-go Range

October 13, 2020

A.F. Blakemore is set to launch a new own-brand food-to-go range designed especially for the convenience retail market

Read More


A.F. Blakemore Launches New Commission Operator Store Model

October 01, 2020

A.F. Blakemore launches a brand-new commission operator SPAR store model

Read More


Last Chance to Sign Up to AFB Pension Scheme Webinar

October 01, 2020

​If you want to know more about the proposed changes to A.F. Blakemore’s pension scheme, it’s not too late to sign up to one of the company’s pension scheme webinars next week

Read More


SPAR Y Maes Takes Home Top Prize at Convenience Awards

September 30, 2020

A.F. Blakemore is celebrating after a fantastic evening at the Convenience Awards

Read More


Bedford Depot Construction Update

September 25, 2020

The construction of A.F. Blakemore’s brand new distribution depot in Bedford has made significant progress over the past few weeks

Read More


Wholesale Distribution Online Ordering Website Continues Growth

September 25, 2020

Blakemore Wholesale Distribution’s online ordering website enjoyed its best week yet last week

Read More


Sign Up Now: AFB Pension Scheme Webinar

September 24, 2020

Attend a webinar to find out more about the proposed changes to A.F. Blakemore’s pension scheme

Read More


SPAR Brand Sees Huge Opportunity in Food to Go

September 18, 2020

SPAR is launching seven new own-label food-to-go products in order to drive sales and help fulfil the food-to-go shopping mission

Read More


All About Vegan Store: Q&A with Lisa Ruskin

September 17, 2020

A.F. Blakemore catches up with Vegan Store founder Lisa Ruskin to find out more about the business she created

Read More


SPAR Retailers Shortlisted for Convenience and Retail Industry Awards

September 17, 2020

SPAR retailers across the Meridian & Welsh Guild have received notable recognition on this year’s Convenience Awards and Retail Industry Awards shortlists

Read More


Blakemore Retail Buy One, Get One for a Penny Campaign Now Live

September 17, 2020

​Blakemore Retail’s ‘Buy One, Get One for a Penny’ campaign is now live across its SPAR estate

Read More


Blakemore Retail PANTS Day Raises £31,453

September 11, 2020

Blakemore Retail PANTS Weekend raises an incredible £31,453

Read More


Covid-19 Situational Guidance for Colleagues

September 10, 2020

A.F. Blakemore has issued new Covid-19 situational guidance for employees

Read More


County Bridge Fresh Meat Trial Delivers Promising Early Results

September 10, 2020

A.F. Blakemore’s expansion of its own-label County Bridge retail fresh meat offering is delivering some fantastic initial sales results

Read More


Blakemore Retail Recognises Top Fundraising Stores

September 08, 2020

Blakemore Retail recognises its top fundraising stores after raising more than £252,000 for the NSPCC during its last fundraising year

Read More


Last Chance to Sign Up for AFB Mentoring Programme

September 03, 2020

A.F. Blakemore is offering colleagues a final chance to sign up to its mentoring programme before it launches later this month

Read More


Blakemore Retail to Launch Buy One, Get One for a Penny Campaign

September 01, 2020

Blakemore Retail is set to launch a ‘Buy One, Get One for a Penny’ campaign next month

Read More


HR Self-service System Update

August 28, 2020

82% of AFB colleagues have now registered and confirmed their personal e-mail address with the business in order to access the ‘MyHR’ self-service Payroll/HR system

Read More


Do You Know Anyone Who Deserves to Be Recognised?

August 28, 2020

Do you know anyone in your team who deserves to be recognised with an award?

Read More


Blakemore Retail Enjoys Strong Summer Sales

August 27, 2020

Blakemore Retail has enjoyed strong trade this summer, with sales over the last six weeks up 12.54% like for like on last year

Read More


Blakemore Retail Launches New Flagship Store in North Wales

August 20, 2020

Blakemore Retail launches a brand-new flagship SPAR store in Bodelwyddan, North Wales

Read More


Blakemore Retail Gets Set for Big Bank Holiday Fundraiser

August 20, 2020

Blakemore Retail SPAR stores across England and Wales will be embarking on one of their biggest bank holiday fundraising drives for the NSPCC next weekend

Read More


SPAR Continues its Support of British Athletics

August 14, 2020

SPAR, the UK’s leading independent convenience group and partner of British Athletics, continues with its support of the British Athletics Championships

Read More


Blakemore Retail Extends Too Good to Go Trial

August 13, 2020

Blakemore Retail extends its trial of the Too Good to Go food waste fighting app, with 57 SPAR stores now registered on the platform

Read More


SPAR Remains Committed to Helping Vulnerable People

August 13, 2020

SPAR continues its commitment to multiple charities around the UK to ensure that everyone has access to essentials and the ability to shop in a safe environment

Read More


A.F. Blakemore Expands Operations with Acquisition of Online Vegan Store

August 13, 2020

A.F. Blakemore announces the purchase of the online wholesaler and retailer Vegan Store

Read More


Eat Out to Help Out Scheme Boosts Foodservice Sales

August 12, 2020

Blakemore Foodservice experiences a boost to sales thanks to the government’s Eat Out to Help Out scheme

Read More


HR Self-service System: Have You Logged In Yet?

August 07, 2020

All AFB colleagues who have registered and confirmed an email address with the company should now have received an email inviting them to log in to A.F. Blakemore’s new HR and Payroll self-service system, ‘MyHR’

Read More


AFB to Roll Out County Bridge Fresh Meat to More Stores

August 07, 2020

A.F. Blakemore is evolving its County Bridge fresh meat offer with the introduction of new retail packs and expansion into more SPAR stores via centralised distribution

Read More


Wholesale Distribution Online Ordering Website Goes from Strength to Strength

August 07, 2020

Blakemore Wholesale Distribution’s online ordering website has been going from strength to strength since relaunching in May

Read More


More than 220,000 Units of PPE Sold in Blakemore Retail

August 06, 2020

Blakemore Retail stores have sold more than 220,000 units of personal protective wear and personal hygiene items since the end of May

Read More


Action Required: New HR Self-service System Launching Monday

July 31, 2020

A.F. Blakemore’s new Payroll and Human Resources self-service system is set to go live

Read More


A.F. Blakemore Invests in New Rigid Vehicles

July 30, 2020

A.F. Blakemore adds 10 new rigid lorries to its distribution fleet as part on an ongoing vehicle replacement programme

Read More


Process Improvement Q&A with Ambient Warehouse Manager Chloe Ball

July 30, 2020

We catch up with Ambient Warehouse Manager Chloe Ball to find out about some of the process improvement activity going on at her depot in Willenhall

Read More


Non-uniform Weekend Raises £25,000 for NSPCC

July 29, 2020

Blakemore Retail SPAR stores across England and Wales raise £25,000 for the NSPCC with a ‘Dress Up or Dress Down’ fundraising weekend

Read More


Philpotts Signs Up to Too Good to Go Food Waste App

July 24, 2020

Philpotts joins Blakemore Retail in signing up to the Too Good to Go food waste fighting app

Read More


Blakemore Retail Trials Self-service Checkouts

July 23, 2020

Blakemore Retail is trialling three card-only self-service checkouts at its Bannerbrook store

Read More


Blakemore Retail Value Initiative Boosts Sales by 36%

July 23, 2020

A Blakemore Retail initiative promoting value to customers has helped increase sales of selected products by 36% compared to pre-coronavirus-lockdown figures

Read More


AFB Publishes Covid-19 Homeworking Survey Results

July 22, 2020

A.F Blakemore publishes the results of its Covid-19 home-working survey undertaken with colleagues in June

Read More


Final Community Cashback Grant Scheme Winners Announced

July 17, 2020

A.F. Blakemore announces the final good causes to benefit from its Community Cashback Grant scheme

Read More


Philpotts Launches New App for Customers

July 16, 2020

Philpotts launches a new app offering customers a click and collect service

Read More


Blakemore Retail Introduces New Online Collaboration Platform

July 16, 2020

Blakemore Retail introduces a new internal collaboration platform to the business to help bring store and field teams across its estate together

Read More


Hand Sanitiser Stations Rolled Out Across AFB

July 15, 2020

A.F. Blakemore rolls out hand sanitiser stations across its store estate and depots

Read More


Latest Community Cashback Grant Scheme Winners Announced

July 10, 2020

A.F. Blakemore announces more good causes to benefit from its Community Cashback Grant scheme

Read More


New Deals of the Day App to Launch for Retailers

July 09, 2020

A.F. Blakemore is launching a Deals of the Day app for independent retailers next week, to make it easier than ever for them to take advantage of special offers

Read More


Wholesale Distribution Gears Up for Motorway Services to Get Busy Again

July 09, 2020

Blakemore Wholesale Distribution is gearing up for motorway service stations to get busy once again as more travellers take to the roads for work and summer holidays

Read More


Construction of New Bedford Depot Gets Underway

July 09, 2020

Construction of A.F. Blakemore’s brand new distribution depot in Bedford is now underway

Read More


First Community Cashback Grant Winners Announced

July 03, 2020

​A.F. Blakemore announces the first good causes to benefit from its Community Cashback Grant scheme

Read More


Blakemore Retail to Trial New Distance Learning Programme

July 02, 2020

Blakemore Retail is set to trial a new distance learning programme that will enable store colleagues to gain a personal licence holder qualification remotely for the first time

Read More


A.F. Blakemore Ranked 60th Largest Privately Owned Company in Britain

July 02, 2020

​A.F. Blakemore is set to be named the 60th largest privately owned company in Britain in the Sunday Times HSBC Top Track 100

Read More


New Video Launched to Attract Prospective Retailers

July 02, 2020

A.F. Blakemore launches a new video to help attract prospective retailers to the SPAR symbol group

Read More


Blakemore Retail Invests in Delivery Vans to Meet Snappy Shopper Demand

June 25, 2020

Blakemore Retail invests in new delivery vans to keep up with demand for Snappy Shopper home deliveries

Read More


Disability Sport Wales Hosts Virtual Sports Event

June 25, 2020

A.F. Blakemore community partner Disability Sport Wales hosts its first virtual sports event

Read More


AFB in the Community: Q&A with Community Affairs Officer Kate Senter

June 25, 2020

We speak to Community Affairs Officer Kate Senter to find out how her role overseeing charity partnerships and AFB’s charitable trust has changed since the coronavirus outbreak

Read More


Blakemore Foodservice Gears Up for Reopening of Pubs and Restaurants

June 24, 2020

Blakemore Foodservice gets ready to resume supplying pubs and restaurants ahead of their reopening on 4th July

Read More


AFB to Give Away £30,000 with Community Cashback Scheme

June 17, 2020

A.F. Blakemore launches a Community Cashback Grant scheme to thank groups who are there for vulnerable people during the Covid-19 crisis

Read More


Q&A with Gavin James from Talbot Green

June 17, 2020

This week we’ve got a Q&A with Production Supervisor Gavin James, who works in Talbot Green’s cheese production facility. In his spare time, Gavin is a singer, songwriter and producer.

Read More


SPAR Removes 300 Tonnes of Plastic from Own-label Packaging in One Year

June 11, 2020

SPAR removes nearly 300 tonnes of virgin plastic from 53 own-label products

Read More


SPAR Extends Shopping Support to National Charities

June 11, 2020

More than 700 SPAR stores in England and Wales sign up to support volunteers for three additional national charities in order to support more vulnerable people

Read More


A.F. Blakemore Outperforms Competitors in Pandemic Support for Retailers

June 11, 2020

A.F. Blakemore has outperformed other symbol groups and wholesalers in its pandemic support for retailers, according to retailers

Read More


Gardening Competition Winner Announced

June 11, 2020

It’s time to announce the winner of last week’s gardening competition

Read More


Kelly Burrows Shortlisted for Transport and Logistics Award

June 10, 2020

Logistics Supply Chain Coordinator Kelly Burrows is named as a finalist in the Everywoman in Transport and Logistics Awards

Read More


Safety Screens, Face Visors and Store Refits: Q&A with BDS’s Phil Collins

June 09, 2020

Q&A with Phil Collins from Blakemore Design & shopfitting

Read More


Missed Celebration Competition Winner Announced

June 05, 2020

The winner of last week’s competition is announced

Read More


Cycle to Work Scheme to Return for Summer

June 05, 2020

A.F. Blakemore’s Cycle to Work Scheme is set to re-open for applications this June, once again offering employees the chance to make significant cost savings on bike purchases

Read More


Wholesale Distribution Relaunches Online Ordering Website

June 05, 2020

Blakemore Wholesale Distribution has relaunched its online ordering website to target independent retailers looking for a secondary supply solution

Read More


Logistics Colleagues Praised for Efforts as SPAR Volumes Peak

June 05, 2020

A.F. Blakemore enjoyed fantastic sales across its SPAR estate last week, leading to a massive spike in volumes across the company’s logistics operation

Read More


Survey Reveals Positive Attitudes to SPAR During Coronavirus Outbreak

June 04, 2020

An online survey looking at attitudes to SPAR and grocery shopping during the coronavirus pandemic has revealed that shoppers are valuing SPAR and smaller local stores more than usual

Read More


Missed Celebration Competition: Your Chance to Win

May 29, 2020

This week we’re giving colleagues the chance to win a £50 Love2Shop voucher by entering our ‘missed celebration’ competition

Read More


£58,000 Donated by A.F. Blakemore During Covid-19 Crisis

May 28, 2020

Charitable donations awarded by A.F. Blakemore colleagues to good causes in local communities during the coronavirus crisis have now reached the value of £58,000

Read More


Blakemore Retail Home Deliveries Exceed 22,000

May 28, 2020

Blakemore Retail has made more than 22,000 home deliveries to customers in their local communities since March

Read More


Produce Sales Soar Across AFB

May 28, 2020

A.F. Blakemore has seen produce sales rocket across its store estate thanks to the outstanding efforts of retail, logistics and trading colleagues

Read More


Order Now: Fresh Meat Delivery Service Up and Running

May 22, 2020

A.F. Blakemore has launched a next-day County Bridge fresh meat home delivery service for the Wolverhampton, Walsall and Cannock areas

Read More


Lockdown Creations Contest: Winners Announced

May 22, 2020

It’s time to announce the winners of A.F. Blakemore’s lockdown creations contest

Read More


SPAR Launches New Brand Advert

May 21, 2020

SPAR launches a new advert to highlight the role of SPAR in the community

Read More


Blakemore Retail Launches New Value Initiative

May 20, 2020

Blakemore Retail launches a new value initiative across its store estate to re-establish its value message to customers

Read More


Celebrating Blakemore GEMs: Q&A with Alison from SPAR Bulwark Road

May 20, 2020

All throughout the coronavirus pandemic, A.F. Blakemore is celebrating colleagues who are going the extra mile for customers and other staff members via its Blakemore GEMs (Going the Extra Mile) scheme

Read More


30,000 Plants Distributed by Logistics

May 20, 2020

A.F. Blakemore reports soaring plant sales during the coronavirus lockdown

Read More


Celebrating Blakemore GEMs: Q&A with Tanya from SPAR Rhos

May 14, 2020

A.F. Blakemore celebrates colleagues who are going the extra mile for customers and other staff members via its Blakemore GEMs (Going the Extra Mile) scheme

Read More


Leading the Blakemore Way Goes Online

May 14, 2020

AFB colleagues participate in the company’s very first online Leading the Blakemore Way session

Read More


Retailers and Senior Leaders Say Thank You Blakemore Colleagues

May 14, 2020

Senior leaders and retailers say thank you to AFB colleagues in a short video

Read More


​Throwback Photo Competition: Winner Announced

May 14, 2020

It’s time to announce the winner of A.F. Blakemore’s throwback photo contest! Will you recognise anyone who’s entered?

Read More


Blakemore Foodservice Helps Feed Thousands in Need

May 14, 2020

Over the past five weeks, Blakemore Foodservice has been helping 36 local authorities, charities and businesses across the country to feed thousands of people in need

Read More


A.F. Blakemore Launches Chocolate Bars with Special Messaging

May 14, 2020

A.F. Blakemore launches a special chocolate bar to cheer people up during the coronavirus pandemic

Read More


Food Development Colleagues Embark on Virtual Food Tasting

May 07, 2020

Colleagues embark on their first-ever virtual food tasting session!

Read More


A.F. Blakemore Set to Launch Fresh Meat Delivery Service

May 07, 2020

A.F. Blakemore is launching a next-day fresh meat home delivery service for the Wolverhampton, Walsall and Cannock areas

Read More


Blakemore Retail to Trial Afternoon Tea Box

May 07, 2020

​Blakemore Retail will be trialling an afternoon tea box next week at 10 of its stores for customers who want to treat friends and family at home

Read More


Throwback Photo Competition: Your Chance to Win

May 07, 2020

This week we’re hosting a colleague throwback photo competition

Read More


Pet Photo Contest: Winners Announced

May 01, 2020

After sifting through more than 70 competition entries, it’s time to meet the much-anticipated winners of AFB’s pet contest

Read More


Covid-19 Testing: Information for AFB Colleagues

May 01, 2020

The government has announced that Covid-19 testing has been expanded to essential workers in England and members of their households who are showing symptoms of the coronavirus

Read More


Celebrating Blakemore GEMs: Q&A with Zak Aston from Willenhall Ambient Depot

April 30, 2020

Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, A.F. Blakemore is celebrating colleagues who are going the extra mile for customers and other staff members via its Blakemore GEMs (Going the Extra Mile) scheme

Read More


SPAR There for You Message Reaches Record Online Audience

April 30, 2020

A social media campaign run by A.F. Blakemore to recognise the important role that stores and colleagues have played in supporting their communities during the coronavirus pandemic has reached a record online audience of more than 100,000

Read More


Blakemore Retail Launches Home Delivery Website

April 30, 2020

Blakemore Retail launches an online ordering website to make it easier for customers to browse products from SPAR stores offering home deliveries

Read More


Milk & More: Liam Hancy on Supporting the Business through Covid-19

April 29, 2020

Blakemore Wholesale Distribution National Account Manager Liam Hancy writes about the fantastic work the company is doing with customer Milk & More, who have experienced soaring demand during the coronavirus pandemic

Read More


New GroceryAid Support Available for AFB Colleagues

April 28, 2020

National charity GroceryAid announces new welfare support services for grocery colleagues in need amid the coronavirus crisis

Read More


A.F. Blakemore Introduces Home Delivery for Most Vulnerable

April 23, 2020

A.F. Blakemore introduces home delivery to 165 of its company-owned stores to assist vulnerable customers in local communities

Read More


Pet Photo Contest: Your Chance to Win

April 22, 2020

A.F. Blakemore is offering colleagues the chance to win a pet hamper, gift voucher or donation to a dog rescue centre by entering its pet photo contest

Read More