Spar wholesaler launches new commission operator model

Spar lorry

AF Blakemore, a Midlands-based Spar wholesaler and retailer, has launched a new commission operator store model.

Spar Leominster in Herefordshire has become the first Spar store across the company’s estate to be run by a commission operator after relaunching on 7 September.

Formerly operated by Blakemore Retail, AF Blakemore’s company-owned store division, the site is now being run by MIH Traders, owned by Dasitha Gamage and Janaka Watowita.

AF Blakemore’s commission operators will be self-employed retailers operating with the wholesaler’s support. AF Blakemore will own the business, with the commission operators responsible for developing sales and profitability within their stores.

Blakemore Trade Partners Sales Director Louis Drake explained: “The model will provide us with new opportunities to acquire sites that would not have fitted our previous trading models and therefore will bring us greater flexibility.”

Dasitha Gamage said: “AF Blakemore’s new commission operator store model is a great opportunity for retailers like us who want independence but extensive backing from a big business.

“Not only are we benefitting from the well-known Spar brand, a dedicated business development manager and training, marketing and supply chain support, but as a commission operator, we are also benefitting from AF Blakemore’s site investment.

AF Blakemore will now have three Spar trading models: independent, commission operator and company-owned. The company’s Spar estate currently consists of 277 company-owned stores and 689 independently run stores.

Plans are underway for further commission operator stores soon.