Ajay Odedra switches to SPAR

Independent retailer Ajay Odedra has chosen to move his Simply Fresh supplied store in Boreham, Essex to SPAR.

Following the closure of Sainsbury’s wholesale division and partnership with Simply Fresh, Essex retailer Odedra has chosen to join the symbol group SPAR with A.F. Blakemore as his delivered wholesaler.

With the new SPAR fascia, the store relaunched on the 20 September with a host of activities and freebies celebrating the vast range of SPAR own label products which can now be found instore.

Ajay Odedra said: “I worked with SPAR and A.F. Blakemore previously so I knew I could rely on their systems and processes. The switch over was quick and efficient with supply being switched on within a week. I am looking forward to working with the team at A.F. Blakemore again and together developing and growing my business.”

The new SPAR store continues to grow with additions to the range and offer being implemented in an improved food-to-go offer and Blakemore’s own County Bridge meat range.

Stuart Ware, New Business Manager at Blakemore Trade Partners, said: “As an independent family business and one of the UK’s leading wholesale food suppliers, we understand the needs of other independent businesses.

“We are very happy to welcome Ajay and his team into SPAR and we look forward to a long-lasting working relationship.

“When an independent retailer joins SPAR, they immediately benefit from a better range, quality and margins on ambient, fresh, core branded lines and a huge range of award-winning SPAR own-brand products.”

More than 60 stores supplied by A.F. Blakemore have moved across to SPAR this year and another 80 stores are due to join within the next six months. “We are seeing independent retailers joining us for our level of support, range and our well-known and exclusive SPAR brand,” said Ware.

“Retailers joining us benefit from a tailored store package including layout, range, look and feel using our cluster programme which is specially designed to capture the trade indicated by the stores demographics.”

A.F. Blakemore offers independent retailers looking to join considerable financial packages including investment and leasing as well as a top level rebate programme.

The company owns 267 SPAR stores and services 685 independently SPAR stores, in addition to operating business-to-business divisions spanning wholesale distribution, foodservice and shop fitting.
More recently, the company acquired the Philpotts chain of prepared-food stores in 2019 and online food retailer and wholesaler Vegan Store in 2020.
A.F. Blakemore is committed to ensuring the company’s long-term future. This year it opened a £14 million logistics distribution depot in Bedford to enable future growth.

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