SPAR UK regional partner A.F. Blakemore appoints new Group Commercial Director

February 25, 2022 IN THE CATEGORY: People

SPAR UK regional partner A.F. Blakemore & Son has appointed David Cooke to the newly created role of Group Commercial Director. David Cooke, who joined the business on 7 February, is to create and implement a new commercial strategy aligned with the group’s five-year plan.

His role will entail end-to-end accountability for the company’s commercial function, with a focus on developing supplier partnerships, managing commercial trading terms, developing retail propositions and accelerating the rollout of A.F. Blakemore’s fresh food strategy. He will report to Group CEO Jerry Marwood.

Jerry Marwood commented: “I am pleased to welcome David Cooke to the Blakemore team. He brings significant commercial experience in developing strategic relationships with suppliers as well as a background in the development of exciting food propositions.”

“David is a great fit for our culture, having been attracted to A.F. Blakemore because of our values and approach to responsible business.”

David Cooke has a background in trading, proposition and product development gained through stints with national and international organisations such as Sainsbury’s, Tesco, health & beauty retailer A.S. Watson and latterly Dutch store chain HEMA.

At HEMA, David Cooke was Director of Food, Health & Beauty, overseeing divisions with a combined turnover of circa €500 million. Prior to that, he was Head of Branded Goods at A.S. Watson (Europe) Group AG, where he was responsible for the management of the commercial A brand partnerships across 12 European markets.

Source: SPAR UK

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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.