AF Blakemore group managing director Peter Blakemore has called for greater collaboration with the company’s supplier base to help drive mutual success.
This message was delivered at AF Blakemore’s inaugural IGD Supplier Seminar, attended by senior representatives from the company’s major suppliers.
The event, which took place on 25 February at The Belfry Hotel in the West Midlands, provided a unique chance for suppliers to get up to date with the latest developments across the A.F. Blakemore Group and learn about opportunities to develop their sales in partnership with the business.
Blakemore opened the seminar with an overview of the strength and size of the AF Blakemore Group and his vision for shared growth.
Addressing supplier delegates, he said: “I invite you to develop a new strategic partnership with the Blakemore Group as we embark upon the most exciting period in the company’s history.
“I believe that recent investment and innovation across all areas of the company means that we now have the diversity, scale and ambition to achieve long-term sustainable growth across the retail and wholesale sectors.
“Since 2007 AF Blakemore has more than doubled its turnover from £643m to £1.3.5bn. Working in partnership with AF Blakemore can achieve sustainable growth for all.”
The event was compered by the IGD’s head of retail insight, Steve Jones, who also provided an update on the strength of the UK convenience market. He explained: “Our forecasts show that the value of the UK convenience market increased last year by 5.1% on the previous year to £37.7 billion, and that it is projected to increase to £44.1 billion by 2020.”
Senior directors from across the AF Blakemore Group followed with presentations on the company’s divisional growth plans and outlined the role that they will play in bringing these to fruition.
Delegates also heard from the next generation of the Blakemore family. Blakemore Fine Foods commercial director Caoire Blakemore spoke about the role of innovation in driving the business forward whilst group business improvement manager Tomas Blakemore focused on a four-year strategy to ensure the future sustainability of the business.
Peter Blakemore closed the event by calling upon suppliers for greater collaboration. He said: “We would like to make this the start of a new strategic way of working with our suppliers and I would encourage you to engage with AF Blakemore to find out more about the mutual success that can be achieved through closer co-operation.
“AF Blakemore is a 100% family-owned company that is committed to long-term and sustainable growth. We re-invest 98% of all profits back into improving the business, with the remaining 2% supporting the Blakemore Foundation charitable trust. I am confident that your increased support and investment will give you a very good return.”