The Mayor of Bishop Auckland, Cllr Michael Siddle, cut the ribbon to officially open the store as residents eagerly queued up to be some of the first to enjoy the new SPAR’s shopping experience.
The SPAR store features a deli, serving a range of hot foods and freshly made-to-order food to go from both the hot and cold counters. Adjacent to the deli, there is a range of self-serve meats to satisfy those customers seeking quality at a great value.
Alongside these main store features is a comprehensive range of fresh foods, major branded products, and a wide range of beers, wines, and spirits.
The interior store décor features photographs of local Bishop Auckland landmarks. As a nod to the site’s past, the lion emblems that were previously set into the old pub walls have been retained as original features during reconstruction work.
A Father Christmas meet-and-greet event complemented the store opening to help the community get into the seasonal spirit. A Family Fun Day will be held in the Spring to help celebrate the opening.
The Mayor of Bishop Auckland, Cllr Michael Siddle, said: “It was a pleasure to be invited along to open the new SPAR store at Brooklands. It is wonderful to see new businesses choosing to open in our town, providing employment, and repurposing buildings.
Margaret Walton, from nearby Chilton, was one of the first 50 customers through the doors of the SPAR while visiting her granddaughter.
She said: “I thought it would be expensive and good for convenience items like your milk and bread, but I’m going home with three full bags – you could do your full shop here.
“The store is amazing, and it’s been like Christmas Day. You can get your Sunday lunch for £6, and it isn’t worth turning your gas and electric on at home when you can get one for that price.
Tyler Elleanor, from Bishop Auckland, was another customer to visit the SPAR store on launch day.
He said: “As soon as you walk through the door, you can see the quality on offer. I really like the vibe of the shopping environment.
“The staff are lovely, and I’m really surprised at the size of the store. It is much bigger than you expect.
SPAR Bishop Auckland is owned and serviced by James Hall & Co. Ltd, SPAR UK’s primary wholesaler and distributor for Northern England, and is open from 7 am until 10.30 pm, seven days a week.
Coffee will be provided free of charge for emergency service workers for the first six months of opening, and there is 10% off for NHS staff with valid ID over the same period.
James Hall & Co. Ltd serves a network of independent SPAR retailers and company-owned SPAR stores across Northern England six days a week from its base at Bowland View in Preston.
Source: SPAR UK
The UK became a SPAR member in 1956 when SPAR International granted the SPAR licence to a group of independent wholesalers. As a result, there are now five regional partners in the UK. A central office in London provides national marketing and buying services for the group.
SPAR has led the highly competitive convenience market in the UK for many years. Always innovative, the five regional partners continue to grow the brand. SPAR UK comprises independently owned licensed retailers and company-owned stores. These include forecourts, airports, train stations, city centres, and local neighbourhood stores.