SPAR UK partner A.F. Blakemore announces new structure to leverage retail strength

September 22, 2023 IN THE CATEGORY: People

  • Matt Teague, Managing Director, Retail at A.F. Blakemore

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SPAR UK regional partner A.F. Blakemore has announced changes to the leadership team to consolidate retail knowledge across its SPAR portfolio.

As part of the new structure, Matt Teague has been promoted to Managing Director, Retail. He will lead both SPAR divisions, combining Blakemore Retail and Blakemore Trade Partners. Matt will be supported by a strong leadership team, who will together be accountable for driving growth in fresh food-to-go and food for later, acquiring, partnering, extending, and refurbishing stores to improve retail sales per square metre, as well as delivering excellent operational standards and service for customers.

The leadership team includes Chris Bacon, Store Operations Director, who will drive brand excellence in Blakemore Retail stores. Louis Drake, promoted to Retail Sales Director, is responsible for building sustainable sales and growth through stronger commercial partnerships. Tom Blakemore, promoted to Retail Development Director, will grow and develop the quality of the SPAR store portfolio. Steve Gale, Head of Formats Excellence, will focus on bringing customer-oriented store formats to SPAR stores.

The new organisational structure aims to build upon the company’s strengths and achievements. It is designed to foster collaboration both within the organisation and with external partners, enabling A.F. Blakemore to deliver its forward-looking strategy.

A.F. Blakemore CEO Carol Welch said: “The past few years have brought their fair share of challenges and opportunities to A.F. Blakemore. Following a strong financial performance in 22/23 driven by our SPAR retail estate, we are committed to sustaining this growth by meeting customer needs and establishing robust relationships with our valued suppliers and partners.”

Source: A.F. Blakemore & Son Ltd

Read more about SPAR UK


The United Kingdom became a SPAR member in 1956 when SPAR International granted the SPAR licence to a group of independent wholesalers. There are five regional organisations in the UK, continually building the brand’s presence. A central office in London provides national marketing and buying services for the group. SPAR UK comprises independently owned, licensed, retailers and company-owned stores.