It has been reported that Blakemore Wholesale, the cash & carry division of AF Blakemore, is to close the remaining depots that it has been unable to sell. This will complete the business' exit from cash & carry, following its decision announced in April this year.
Five depots sold and nine closed
From an original estate of 14 cash & carry sites back in mid-2017 four sites have been sold to other cash & carry operators (two to Bestway, one to Parfetts and one to United Wholesale Grocers), while another was sold to delivered foodservice operator Bidfood in late 2017. The fact that nine sites have failed to find a buyer and another has ceased cash & carry operation, indicates the over-capacity across the sector as a whole, now exacerbated by the rise of online ordering and delivery service from cash & carry, which is significantly impacting the traditional 'collect' model of customer service.
Birmingham, Wolverhampton, Grimsby and Swansea the last to go
With Blakemore's Bangor cash & carry having ceased trading in late June, the last four sites of the estate will now begin closing down sales. Amongst these final depots are two from its heartland in the West Midlands, including its Wolverhampton location, also the site of the division's head office.