Blakemore Trade Partners has laid on a series of operational efficiency workshops for SPAR retailers to help prepare them for the introduction of the National Living Wage in April.
More than 200 retailers across Spar UK’s Meridian & Welsh Guild attended one of seven half-day workshop events at locations across England and Wales between 29 February and 7 March.
The aim was to inform retailers about the National Living Wage and to offer them advice on ways to improve the efficiency of their operations to help minimise the impact of increased staffing costs.
Blakemore Trade Partners sales director Neil Mercer said: “With the introduction of the National Living Wage in April, Blakemore Trade Partners’ support package for retailers will be more important than ever.
“We are committed to helping in whatever way we can, whether that’s via workshops, store development, free Guild Academy training, our new enhanced marketing packages or continuous investment in retail pricing.
“Our workshops are a great opportunity for retailers to speak directly to the Blakemore Trade Partners team, making sure that we listen to their needs and continue to improve our services as well as networking and exchanging ideas with fellow retailers.”
The workshops focused on the impact of the National Living Wage on retailers’ individual businesses giving practical advice that retailers could implement on returning to their stores whether that be through effective staff management, promotional implementation, cost saving on overheads or making the most of the upcoming marketing campaigns to help generate sales.
Retailer Malcolm Crump from Spar Compton in Wolverhampton, who attended one of the workshops, said: “I definitely found the event helpful. It provided a great chance to meet other retailers and I think it’s really important that we can network in this way. It was particularly useful to learn about employment law.
This was further supported by Gareth Thomas, a retailer based in Solihull: “It’s been a really good day. Well presented. The rotation presentations were good: it kept things flowing. It generated a lot of questions, of course, which it should. The interactions with the presentation leaders were very, very good, and I met some new friends. The purpose of the roadshow is how to tackle the issues coming up in a few months’ time, and I’ve got lots of good ideas to take back to base.”