AF Blakemore relaunches first company-owned Spar as new flagship store

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AF Blakemore & Son has relocated its inaugural company-owned Spar store to a larger forecourt site on Wolverhampton Road West, Walsall, and incorporated new Subway and Greggs departments.

The brand new 2,163sq ft Spar store was opened on 6 September by AF Blakemore chairman Peter Blakemore and family members Tom and Liz Blakemore.

The Spar store has relocated next door to the original site with an additional ten pump BP filling station operating 24 hours a day.

The store also features Subway and Greggs departments, providing customers with a one-stop convenience, restaurant and takeaway solution. 

AF Blakemore & Son first acquired the store in 1985 as a part of its retail division, and it formed a key part of the company’s support of Spar’s Eight Till Late concept.

Peter Blakemore was joined by friend and ex-colleague Elwyn Davies, with whom he originally opened the store with in 1985.

Nearly 35 years on and the company is still investing in the local community and ensuring that its customers continue to receive the best service.

The new Bentley Spar store will house the 50th Subway department to open in partnership with AF Blakemore’s company-owned store division, Blakemore Retail, and will be the first to operate 24 hours a day.

With the store’s relocation and additional food-to-go outlets the company has created 18 new jobs within the area.

Blakemore Retail managing director Matt Teague commented: “Bentley is a major investment for Blakemore Retail and will be the largest flagship store we open this year.

“Its trading characteristics reflect our store development strategy perfectly. The new store provides wider food choices to local residents with the addition of high-profile brands in Greggs and Subway.”  

As is standard with all new Blakemore Retail stores, Bentley has been fitted with energy saving lighting and refrigeration and a defibrillator has been installed at the entrance to the store for any future emergencies.

The Spar store also offers CollectPlus, PayPoint and National Lottery services as well as a free cash machine.

To celebrate, the company held community fun days over the launch weekend, giving out free goodie bags and running promotional offers.

Customers were also invited to take part in golden ticket and “lucky pump” competitions to win a selection of exciting prizes.

The Spar store will operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week.