Peter Blakemore, Managing Director of A.F. Blakemore and Son Ltd, has been presented the Adriaan van Well Medal for his outstanding contribution to SPAR International, the world’s largest food retail voluntary chain.
A.F. Blakemore and Son was founded in 1917 when Arthur and Harriet Blakemore opened a counter-service grocery store in Wolverhampton. Peter joined the family business in 1965 and is the third generation of the Blakemore family to lead the company. During his tenure, the organisation has enjoyed a prolonged period of expansion and growth, so that it is now the 39th largest privately owned business in the UK.
Today, the 100-year-old company consists of nine trading divisions spanning across the retail, wholesale, food service, logistics and shop fitting sectors. It employs more than 8,100 people and owns and operates 300 SPAR convenience stores. In addition, A.F Blakemore runs 14 cash and carry depots, with six major distribution centres located across the Midlands, South Wales, East Sussex and Yorkshire.
Throughout his career, Peter has promoted the independent sector of the wholesale and retail food industry, supporting independent small business community stores throughout the country. The company works with almost 800 independently owned SPAR stores, many of which are owned and operated by family businesses themselves.
Peter Blakemore has played an integral part in the growth of SPAR UK and the rise of the convenience retail sector, serving as a director on the SPAR UK Board for more than 40 years with 20 years as the Chairman of the Board. In addition, he has served as a member of the Board of SPAR International for 12 years.
Adriaan van Well was an innovative Dutch wholesaler who founded SPAR in the Netherlands in 1932. Van Well had a clear vision and was inspired by a simple philosophy – independent wholesalers and retailers can achieve more by working together.
Speaking about award, Managing Director of SPAR International Tobias Wasmuht said: “The van Well Medal is the highest honour within the worldwide SPAR organization. “In over 85 years of SPAR’s proud history, the van Well medal has been awarded only 23 times in recognition of individuals whose contribution to the SPAR has been exemplary and personify the SPAR values and ideals that all shall benefit from mutual co-operation as set out by our founder and the first person to be recognized by the van Well medal, Mr. Adriaan van Well himself. Peter has contributed greatly to SPAR in the UK and Internationally. His extraordinary energy and enthusiasm and commitment to his colleagues, his customers, his community and SPAR International exemplifies this principle.”
Peter Blakemore steps down from the Board of SPAR International. His position will be taken by Dominic Hall, Deputy Managing Director James Hall & Co. Ltd and Chairman of the National Guild of SPAR. The appointment was made at the Shareholders Meeting in Gran Canaria on 17th May.