Spar Hackney has opened a new concept store and restaurant on the site of a former cinema in partnership with Blakemore Trade Partners.
The new Spar is said to combine a unique range of fixtures and fittings with an expertly selected array of products, built-in burger bar and upstairs restaurant, making it one of the most innovative stores in the convenience sector.
Its opening is reported to mark an excellent year for Blakemore Trade Partners, seeing its retailers pick up some of the industry’s leading awards.
Neil Mercer, Blakemore Trade Partners sales director, said: “It’s been fantastic that our retailers have been recognised in this way, and more importantly clearly demonstrates the diversity of retailer propositions that we work with.
“Spar is a progressive symbol group that tailors stores to retailer and shopper needs, whether that’s a transient customer in Northampton, a “Tonight’s Tea” shopper at Calver or an adventurous foodie here at Hackney.
“We see partnership as at the core of the Blakemore business, helping us to drive the convenience market forward by helping retailers reach their goals with exciting and profitable businesses.
“Our retailers are people with a passion for convenience retailing, who often want to create something different to make their business a success – and we want to help our entrepreneurs do that,” he said.
Working with Spar Hackney is a great example of what can be achieved if a retailer has vision, said Mercer.
“Plus, the store format work is one of the four pillars of the Spar Growing Together strategy, so it’s key that we continue the work developed at a national level.
Blakemore Trade Partners said it is investing £2m in co-investment with its retailers in 2014/2015, as well as £400,000 for retail IT development.
The company has also helped Spar retailers save nearly £5m to date, thanks to its Retail Partners Scheme (RPS). The scheme has led to a £2.6m reduction in cost prices, a £1.5m saving in the removal of surcharge for RPS customers and much more.
Initiatives such as these have driven a huge increase in store numbers in the past year, with two new stores opening each week, and a host of new retailers and entrepreneurs flocking to the business, Blakemore Trade Partners reports.
Blakemore’s existing retailers are reported to be delighted by their partnership with the company.
James Brundle, co-director of Spar Hackney, said: “Our relationship with Blakemore Trade Partners is a true partnership; we benefit from co-investment, strategic business development, logistics and supply chain support which enables us to bring our creative vision to life.”