SPAR UK launches Zapper all-in-one mobile payment, loyalty and voucher app instore

United Kingdom, 2017-Nov-02 — /EPR Retail News/ — SPAR UK now offers shoppers the option to use the Zapper all-in-one mobile payment, loyalty and voucher app instore.

A selection of Appleby Westward’s Gillett’s SPAR stores around Plymouth and Exeter were the first to launch with Zapper’s smart loyalty app while further development expansion across the SPAR UK network is taking place.

Quick and easy to use, shoppers simply open the app, scan a QR code at the till and payment, including voucher redemption and loyalty card updates, are seamlessly processed in just a few seconds. With 46% of Zapper customers completing a loyalty card in convenience stores around the UK since launch in December 2016, it is apparent Zapper is already becoming habitual for many shoppers.

Ian Taylor, SPAR UK Retail Director, said: “We are focused on offering excellent customer service. Working with Zapper means that customers are motivated to shop at SPAR rather than at a competitor store. Our customers have many great reasons to shop with us and there are enormous benefits to retaining and rewarding them. We continue to develop exciting modern and relevant convenience stores and Zapper mobile payment rewards loyalty and enables our customers to pay for their goods faster which in turn will encourage repeat use instore.”

Zapper’s smart solution is affordable, versatile and easy to use; once installed stores can be live and transacting within hours. Zapper’s universal solution delivers instant mobile payments and seamless rewards, helping retailers understand shoppers to build a more efficient and profitable business.

Not only is Zapper a game-changing tool for convenience retailers but tech-savvy FMCG brands can also gain personal insights and contact their customers directly via Zapper. Brand specific digital vouchers can be sent in seconds via the Zapper app to consumers directing them into SPAR UK and other convenience retail stores to automatically redeem their vouchers. No paper, no cards, no hassle.

Contact:

SPAR International
Email: info@spar-international.com
Tel: +3120 626 6749

Source: Spar International

SPAR UK Partner, A.F. Blakemore & Son raised £30,379 for children’s charity NSPCC

SPAR UK Partner, A.F. Blakemore & Son raised £30,379 for children’s charity NSPCC

 

UK, 2017-Oct-06 — /EPR Retail News/ — SPAR UK Partner, A.F. Blakemore & Son, has raised funds for a leading children’s charity and honoured SPAR retailers at their annual Retail Trade Show. This SPAR Partner is celebrating their 100-year anniversary this year with a diverse range of activities.

SPAR store St Fagans raises over £30,000 for the NSPCC

SPAR St. Fagans in Cardiff has raised £30,379 for the NSPCC, which is the leading children’s charity fighting to end child abuse in the UK and Channel islands. The funds were raised during a six-year partnership with the charity, through an array of fundraising events such as dress down days, raffles, book stalls and instore sale markets.

The store reached this figure after hosting a charity birthday party on 1 September in celebration of A.F. Blakemore & Son Ltd’s 100-year anniversary. The SPAR store manager, Allen Collett, said: “It is important to involve colleagues in the fundraising activities so that fundraising becomes a fun thing to do and not just another chore. After all, the better the event, the better the fun and the more money raised for the NSPCC.”

Since 2006, Blakemore Retail employees have raised more than £2.7 million for NSPCC services through fundraising activities.

SPAR Retail Show 2017: The Customer at Heart

The Customer at Heart was the key message from this year’s Blakemore Trade Partners SPAR Retail Show, which was attended by more than 1,100 guests. The  event took place at the Telford International Centre on 7 September and encompassed a Conference, Trade Show and Guild Dinner, focusing on how A F Blakemore and its retailers can best prioritise the needs of the shopper.

At the conference, representatives from A F Blakemore and SPAR retailers spoke about the importance of developing store formats to meet the needs of local shoppers, product development in the award-winning SPAR brand range and how the Blakemore Foundation can help retailers engage with their local communities. Blakemore Trade Partners Sales Director, Neil Mercer, explained: “We have always focused on a customer-first strategy, whether through store format developments, category management or marketing activities.”

SPAR Sleaford crowned Baldwin Trophy winners at SRS 2017

Hockmeyer Motors SPAR Sleaford were crowned best SPAR store in their region, thanks to Rachael Hockmeyer and Christian Slingby’s relentless focus on driving their retail business, and their incredible commitment to the local community. In addition to developing their business, such as refitting and refurbishing their store, great support has been given to numerous local organisations

Contact:

SPAR International
Email: info@spar-international.com
Tel: +3120 626 6749

Source: Spar International

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SPAR UK Partner, A.F. Blakemore and Son Ltd celebrates its 100 years in business

United Kingdom, 2017-Jul-28 — /EPR Retail News/ — It’s been a busy summer so far for SPAR UK Partner, A.F. Blakemore and Son Ltd, as it celebrates its 100 years in business. We take a look here at some of the highlights to date.

New SPAR convenience store opens in Aldridge, Walsall

A brand new SPAR store opened on the site of a former pub in the West Midlands town of Aldridge. Featuring a state-of-the-art Daily Deli counter, the store offers food throughout the day from a full English breakfast in the morning to hot meal options in the evening.

The new SPAR store also provides a wide range of everyday essentials and services including a free-to-use cash machine, Collect Plus, PayPoint and National Lottery. Its extensive Food-to-Go offering is complemented by a self-service coffee machine with an ultra-modern digital touch screen. The opening day was celebrated with the store giving out free food samples and goodie bags to its first 200 customers.

As part of its commitment to serving the local community, Blakemore Retail has installed a lifesaving defibrillator outside the new store, ready for any future local emergency.

Significant investment in Distribution Fleet

Blakemore Logistics has announced a significant investment in its distribution fleet as part of an ongoing vehicle replacement programme. The business has acquired 22 new Volvo FM11 410 Globetrotter tractor units to replace some of the older vehicles at its Willenhall distribution premises.The tractor units are 10% more fuel efficient than those they have replaced.

Equipped with the latest Spillard Safety Systems, the new vehicles include safety cameras and cycle-safety features as well as Blue Tree tracking systems to aid fuel management, driver performance, communication and navigation.

Environmental Focus Week

A.F. Blakemore colleagues recently took part in the company’s Environmental Focus Week, featuring a series of initiatives aimed at making a positive impact on the environment and promoting the importance of growing a sustainable business for the next 100 years.

Across England and Wales, more than 300 colleagues cleared litter in their local communities. Community Affairs Officer Liz Bell commented: “I am delighted to see the work our volunteers achieved during the week. Not only will this impact the community and environment immediately, but we will convert the amount of litter collected into trees, which will be planted later this year.”

Further, the company organised a showcase of electric and hybrid cars at its Willenhall head office for colleagues to view and test-drive.

During the Environmental Focus Week, A.F. Blakemore’s property department joined forces with UK Electrical Installations Ltd to improve the energy efficiency and reduce the utility bills of a women’s refuge in Wolverhampton. Volunteers from the two companies spent a week upgrading the electrical fittings to energy-efficient alternatives at The Haven women’s refuge.

Running alongside all of this activity were daily environmental awareness campaigns featuring waste, recycling, transportation and water usage tips to help reduce the company’s impact on the environment. A total of 667 water-saving hippo bags have been distributed to sites across the company’s estate to help conserve water in toilet cisterns.

Contact:

SPAR International
Email: info@spar-international.com
Tel: +3120 626 6749

Source: Spar International

Llanharry SPAR store in Wales raised £2,000 to purchase defibrillators for Welsh Hearts charity

Llanharry SPAR store in Wales raised £2,000 to purchase defibrillators for Welsh Hearts charity

Employees at the Llanharry SPAR store in Wales have helped to raise £2,000 to purchase lifesaving defibrillators for the charity, Welsh Hearts.

United Kingdom, 2017-Apr-30 — /EPR Retail News/ — The money was raised in just over six months through a series of fundraisers from local door-to-door raffle tickets to jam-packed charity discos at a local club.

Support for the Welsh Hearts charity kicked off last September and saw overwhelming contributions made by members of the public, local businesses and SPAR UK Partner, A. F. Blakemore’s charitable trust, the Blakemore Foundation.

The money raised for the Welsh Hearts charity has gone towards the cost of two new defibrillators. One is to be located at Llanharry SPAR and the other outside the local community centre.

Blakemore Retail SPAR Store Manager, Mike Jones, said: “I’d like to congratulate the SPAR team and in particular the organisers for raising a superb amount for the Welsh Hearts. I am humbled to know that the defibrillators will go on to become an essential piece of life-saving equipment in Llanharry for years to come. Thank you to everyone involved!”

SOURCE: Spar International

Contact:

SPAR International
Email: info@spar-international.com
Tel: +3120 626 6749

SPAR UK expands its own label wine offering with two new Proseccos

SPAR Proseccos DOC Extra Dry

SPAR UK is increasing its own label wine offering with the launch of two new Proseccos.

Amsterdam, the Netherlands, 2017-Apr-20 — /EPR Retail News/ — SPAR Brand wine continues to go from strength to strength and the new lines, sourced from an award winning producer in the Veneto region of Italy, show its commitment to giving shoppers a greater choice of tasty fizz at excellent value.

The new lines consist of a SPAR Extra Dry DOC Prosecco and SPAR Valdobbiadene DOCG Prosecco.

The Extra Dry DOC is a deliciously smooth, affordable treat for those nights in and every day celebrations, whilst the Valdobbiadene DOCG is a premium bottle to compete with the very best sparkling wines in the market. This beautifully presented bottle offers exquisite taste and quality and is perfect for special occasions or gifting.

Commenting on the new lines, Edward Evans, SPAR UK Head of BWS said: “At SPAR we are determined to give our shoppers the best choice available in the market and our improved Prosecco range reflects this. UK Prosecco sales are predicted to increase considerably over the next five years, and it is vital that our customers feel that SPAR can offer them an improved range to satisfy their varying tastes across all price-points. We are delighted with the two new additions and look forward to hearing what our shoppers think.”

SPAR Extra Dry DOC Prosecco and SPAR Valdobbiadene DOCG Prosecco are now available in SPAR stores in England, Scotland and Wales.

SOURCE: SPAR International

SPAR International
info@spar-international.com
+3120 626 6749

SPAR UK introduces new range of own brand popcorn

United Kingdom, 2017-Mar-08 — /EPR Retail News/ — SPAR UK is launching a trendy new range of own brand popcorn consisting of Salted and Sweet & Salted flavours.

The popcorn market has experienced massive change over recent years as new brands have exploded onto the scene. An increase in popularity has seen the own brand popcorn market grow by 14% in just one year.

Cath McIlwham, SPAR UK Head of Brand said: “The trend for alternative snack choices is growing and we are delighted to respond to this by launching these two new varieties.

“Salted and Sweet & Salted are two of the top selling popcorn flavours in the market. We are providing our shoppers with not just a very tasty snack, but also a healthier option compared to other snacks and impulse purchases,” she added.

These new popcorn lines are the latest step taken by SPAR UK to keep adapting to changing customer needs.

Contact:

SPAR International
Email: info@spar-international.com
Tel: +3120 626 6749

Source: Spar International

SPAR UK introduces four new own brand cooking sauces

United Kingdom, 2017-Jan-31 — /EPR Retail News/ — As part of SPAR’s commitment to delivering products which meet the changing needs of their customers, SPAR UK has unveiled a new range of own brand cooking sauces. They form a key part of SPAR’s campaign to offer shoppers delicious evening meals for every night of the week.

The four new sauces in the own label range are Bolognese, Tomato & Herb, Tikka Masala and Korma and they will be available from all stores this month. SPAR is keen to provide customers with all the components for a complete own brand meal which offers value for money, a great taste and can be ready to serve in 30 minutes.

SPAR’s own brand range continues to innovate with changes in the market and this has been recognised across the industry over the last 12 months.

Joanne Cramer, SPAR UK Senior Brand Manager said: “The new range of own brand sauces is yet another step we are taking to offer our shoppers a deliciously simple and cost effective solution to evening meals. It is imperative that we continue to listen to what our customers want and adapt accordingly to these needs. Great taste, value for money and convenience are key drivers for shoppers and our aim is to satisfy them as best we can.”

Contact:

SPAR International
Email: info@spar-international.com
Tel: +3120 626 6749

Source: Spar International

SPAR UK store assistants honoured at the 2016 Sales Assistant of the Year Awards

United Kingdom, 2016-Dec-14 — /EPR Retail News/ — Two SPAR UK store assistants have been awarded for being inspirational SPAR employees at the 2016 Sales Assistant of the Year Awards.

Tracie Horner from SPAR Carrowdore in Co. Down has been revealed as the overall winner of the 2016 Sales Assistant of the Year award, while Michelle Chamberlain of SPAR Knight Street, Pinchbeck, was named the deserving winner of the multiple symbol sector.

Convenience Store magazine’s Sales Assistant of the Year Awards are now in their 36th year, and are designed to achieve recognition for all hard-working store assistants and to reward those who excel.

Tracie was chosen because of her personal charm and commitment to customer service, her contribution to the store’s business success, and her capacity to embrace change with enthusiasm. Tracie sets herself the challenge each day of making sure every customer she serves leaves the shop with a smile on their face. Under her supervision she has managed to both increase sales and reduce waste in the store’s crucial fresh produce department, and is already involved in planning how the section will evolve when the store is being enlarged.

Tracie said: “I couldn’t believe it when they called out my name. All the other finalists were such lovely girls and all were very worthy winners. This has been just a wonderful event, from the lovely people, to all the attention to detail in looking after me, the whole experience has been wonderful, and to win this award is just the icing on the cake.”

Michelle Chamberlain also said: “This has definitely given me a confidence boost, I just can’t believe it. This certificate is definitely going up on the store wall.”

Convenience Store editor, David Rees, added: “With five such outstanding individuals to choose from, this was always going to be a very difficult decision for the judges. But Tracie’s high standard of work, dedication to the store and the local community coupled with engaging personal charm meant that she is the epitome of the perfect sales assistant and a very worthy winner of the accolade, Sales Assistant of the Year 2016.”

Tracie and Michelle were both awarded £500 in prize money for reaching the finals and winning their respective categories, with Tracie also receiving a further £500 and trophy for being the overall winner. The winners were announced and celebrated during a grand ceremony, which took place at London’s Dorchester Hotel.

Contact:

SPAR International
Email: info@spar-international.com
Tel: +3120 626 6749

Source: Spar International

SPAR UK launches healthier snacking range

United Kingdom, 2016-Dec-07 — /EPR Retail News/ — SPAR UK has launched an on-trend fruit, nuts and seeds snacking range, tapping into consumer demand for healthier snacks.

The range brings shoppers a choice of dried fruit, unsalted nut and mixes containing seeds, nuts and chocolate.

There are eight ‘eat now’ £1 bags, and five larger £2 re-sealable bags in the range, which is now available in SPAR stores in the UK.

The £1 ‘eat now’ range comprises: Berry mix; Brazil nuts; Fruit, nut & seed mix; Unsalted cashews; Mixed nuts; Almonds; Dried mango; and Chocolate, fruit & nut mix.

The £2 sharing range comprises: Walnuts; Almonds; Unsalted cashews; Dried Mango and Mixed nuts.

Susan Darbyshire, SPAR UK Brand Director, said: “With the current trend for health and wellness, consumers are looking for alternative snacking options that meet their needs for a healthy, tasty treat.

“As a result, the category is growing at 12% year on year, making this the perfect time for the SPAR Brand fruit, nuts and seeds snacks to launch.

“With all the bestsellers in the category available in the range, packaged in handy re-sealable bags, we’re confident this range will be a success for our retailers,” she said.

Merchandising materials including POS, posters and stands are available to retailers to help display the range, and the launch will be supported by social media activity and sampling.

Contact:

SPAR International
Email: info@spar-international.com
Tel: +3120 626 6749

Source: Spar International

SPAR UK wins big at 2016 Retail Industry Awards, the Forecourt Trader of Year Awards and the Wholesale Quality Awards

There have been a spate of awards for SPAR UK recently, with amongst others, prizes being won at the 2016 Retail Industry Awards, the Forecourt Trader of Year Awards and the Wholesale Quality Awards.

United Kingdom, 2016-Nov-03 — /EPR Retail News/ — For more than 20 years, the Retail Industry Awards have become firmly established as the ‘Oscars’ of the UK grocery industry, celebrating excellence across a raft of different categories. This year, SPAR UK won a fantastic seven awards. The event is a unique occasion as it is the only time of year when the whole industry gets together to recognise and reward the independent retailers alongside the largest supermarket groups.

SPAR UK was also strongly recognised at the Forecourt Trader of the Year Awards, winning eight prizes – more than any other symbol group. The Forecourt Trader of the Year Awards is the showcase event for the petrol retailing industry and the highest accolade for any petrol retailer. It is recognition of entrepreneurial skill, imagination and dedication in running a successful business.

Another event where magnificent success was had was the 2016 Wholesale Quality Food & Drink Awards where SPAR UK won an incredible 35 awards, including the overall winner of the Wholesaler of the Year. This takes SPAR UK’s overall tally for SPAR Brand food & wine awards so far this year to 136, beating last year’s total of 118.

A Port Talbot convenience store has been chosen as the best SPAR store in the SPAR Meridian & Welsh Guild, winning the prestigious Baldwin Trophy. A family-run business, the SPAR store was opened in 2014 and was awarded for the incredible role it plays in the community and its relentless drive to succeed in spite of the tough economic times the area has endured.

The store plays a valuable role in providing the employees of the surrounding steelworks and railway yard with excellent service from early in the morning until late at night, seven days a week. The loyal customers visit the store up to three times a day. Store owner, Helen Williams said: “We are immensely proud of our link to the local community and of what we offer our customers.”

Contact:

SPAR International
Email: info@spar-international.com
Tel: +3120 626 6749

Source: Spar International

SPAR UK launches own brand evening meal campaign

United Kingdom, 2016-Oct-06 — /EPR Retail News/ — SPAR UK is expanding and revamping its evening meals range this October, while inspiring shoppers with the launch of an evening meal campaign.

In October, SPAR UK is launching three new ready meals reflecting dishes from popular restaurants and pubs, to keep the range modern and relevant.

The additions are Malaysian Butternut Squash Curry, Piri Piri Chicken & Spicy Rice, and Meatball Pasta Bake, all selling at two for £5.

SPAR is also introducing two jacket potato ready meals, with either cheese & beans or chilli, giving customers a healthy option for dinner or something hot for lunch. The potatoes are microwaveable in seven minutes.

SPAR Brand is also refreshing its popular Italian range with the launch of two new products: Tomato & Mascarpone Sauce and Garlic & Rosemary Flatbread. In addition to this, the range’s pasta, sauces and garlic breads have had a pack redesign to give them a more natural and rustic look.

Meanwhile, SPAR’s ‘7 Deliciously Easy Meals’ campaign will use existing SPAR Brand products to show shoppers that we can give them everything they need for dinner – every night of the week.

SPAR retailers will be able to inspire their customers with recipe ideas from Beef Brisket and Spinach & Ricotta Tortelloni to Piri Piri Chicken, all made with products from their local SPAR store.

Susan Darbyshire, SPAR UK Brand Director, said: “ We know that meal-for- tonight shoppers have bigger baskets, spend more and shop more often and we also know they want to spend as little time as possible preparing and cooking.

It’s therefore vital that we offer them a complete meal solution with tasty recipes that take under 30 minutes to cook.”

Contact:

SPAR International
Email: info@spar-international.com
Tel: +3120 626 6749

Source: Spar International

SPAR UK won the 2015 NACS Insight European Technology Implementation Award, sponsored by Verifone Inc.

​LONDON, 2015-6-16 — /EPR Retail News/ — SPAR UK has won the 2015 NACS Insight European Technology Implementation Award, sponsored by Verifone Inc. The award was presented during the NACS Insight Convenience Summit – Europe in London on June 11.

The award recognizes SPAR UK for excellence in the implementation of innovative and outstanding IT solutions within the convenience retailing industry. SPAR UK’s long-term technology investments are keeping pace with today’s sophisticated payment methods, such as chip and PIN, and maintain compliance with Payment Card Industry (PCI) standards. The company recognizes that secure, cost-effective payment solutions not only provide customers with piece of mind, but also enhance the SPAR brand by strengthening data security measures and delivering exceptional customer service. Founded in Holland in 1932 by Adriaan van Well, SPAR is the world’s largest international food retail chain, with 12,322 stores in 34 countries, and the United Kingdom’s leading convenience store group.

“Around the world retailers face daunting challenges related to the rapidly evolving payment landscape to keep up with changing regulations and consumer demands of today—and tomorrow—all while protecting consumers against the ever present threat of cybercriminals,” said Brad McGuiness, senior vice president of engineering for Verifone. “Verifone is honored to recognize SPAR UK for its forward-thinking use of technology, which is helping the company efficiently overcome these challenges while enhancing the customer experience.”

“SPAR genuinely deserves this European Technology accolade. Consumers are looking for more speed in everything they do and in order to capitalize on the opportunity this creates for our industry, independent convenience retailers need to be at the forefront of technology implementation,” said Dan Munford, managing director of Insight. “SPAR UK, with the close support of its leading wholesalers, is really doing a great job in giving retailers the technology they need to do their jobs.”

NACS President and CEO Henry Armour congratulated SPAR UK for its commitment to advancing technology best practices. “Key learnings from world-class peers such as SPAR help our global convenience retail community innovate and develop in the technology arena, driving operational efficiencies that deliver cost savings and exceeding customer expectations during their shopping occasions.”

Now in its second year, the NACS Insight Convenience Summit – Europe (conveniencesummit.com) brings together convenience and fuel retailing industry professionals from around the world to discuss new ideas and gain new commercial connections. This year’s event kicked off in Berlin on June 7 and ends on June 12 in London.

Note to editors: Images available upon request.

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Founded in 1961 as the National Association of Convenience Stores, NACS (nacsonline.com) is the international association for convenience and fuel retailing. The U.S. convenience store industry, with more than 152,700 stores across the country, posted $696.1 billion in total sales in 2014, of which $482.6 billion were motor fuels sales. NACS has 2,100 retail and 1,600 supplier member companies, which do business in nearly 50 countries.