Blakemore to close two more cash & carry's

Date : 07 June 2018

Press reports have revealed that, as part of its plan to exit the cash & carry sector, Blakemore Wholesale will close two further depots next week.  In addition to the sale of Gateshead to United Wholesale Grocers and the closure of Killingworth on 8 June, the depots at Barnsley and Newport in South Wales will close on 15 June.

Leaves Blakemore with eight sites to dispose of

Though the intention at the outset of the disposal process was to sell its sites to other wholesalers as going concerns, its is understood that no 'trade' buyers have been found for Killingworth, Barnsley or Newport.  The eight remaining Blakemore cash & carry's comprise three sites in the West Midlands, three in Wales and two in the north east of England.

Potential buyers relatively few

With both the major national cash & carry operators, Booker and Bestway, already represented in most of the areas, their interest in acquiring sites from the remaining Blakemore cash & carry's is likely to be limited.  Amongst the locations, those in the West Midlands would have most potential for other wholesalers looking to expand into this key conurbation, with access to an extensive customer base of independent retailers and caterers.

AF Blakemore to increase focus on 'delivered' operations

With sales estimated to have been around £350m, Blakemore Wholesale is just one division of the wider AF Blakemore business with total turnover of £1.3bn.  The wider business comprises a range of specialist delivered wholesaling businesses, in both retail and foodservice channels with particular strength in chilled and fresh categories.  This includes the largest SPAR distribution operation in the UK.  Going forward Blakemore will further develop its capability in these, more sustainable, value-added delivered wholesale sectors.