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Lancashire
Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Ideas and initiatives are shared as SPAR independents gather for James Hall & Co. Ltd’s annual Retailer Event

Ideas and initiatives were shared as SPAR independents from across the North of England gathered for James Hall & Co. Ltd’s annual Retailer Event.

Held at the Crow Wood Hotel and Spa in Burnley, the theme of 2022’s event was ‘A Fresh Start’ and the day was split into two halves with the morning session featuring business updates from company Directors.

Updates included exciting new fresh food and Food To Go initiatives, promotional programme developments, store design updates, and the latest IT progress and improvements.

Retailers present also had the opportunity to meet suppliers, take advantage of special ‘on the day’ deals, and network with fellow independents.

The afternoon session featured SPAR store visits to see best practice in James Hall & Co. Ltd’s company-owned G&E Murgatroyd estate at Accrington, Bacup, and Padiham Road in Burnley.

Oliver Blake, Operations Manager at SPAR Long Riston, and a member of the SPAR Northern Guild Committee, was pulled out of the hat as the winner of the event competition for £1,000 of free stock.

Oliver said: “I look forward to the James Hall Retailer Event and it was a good occasion to meet the team and network with SPAR colleagues. The business updates were extremely valuable and enable us to plan for the coming year and beyond, and to win the competition was the cherry on the cake.

“We’ve been with SPAR for three years and decided to switch as we needed a strong brand with great fresh and Food To Go availability to support our plans to move forward with the family business.

“We want to be regarded as the place locally for people to come and buy their goods and we’ve expanded the SPAR twice in those three years, with the initial investment doubling the size of the store. The second added a new office and storeroom, which meant we could further enlarge the floor space to increase our fresh range.

“This has really driven our sales which are three-and-a-half times what they were before our expansions, and James Hall really work with us to support our development plans.”

Leigh Parkinson, who owns the SPAR at Greaves Road in Lancaster, is the most recent addition to the Northern Guild Committee. She wanted to join the Guild to learn from other retailers and improve her business.

Leigh said: “I really enjoyed the Retailer Event. It’s important to get everyone together as a team so that we are all on the same page for upcoming promotions and campaigns.

“My family have been with James Hall for over 20 years. It’s a great relationship and I always value their advice. The team of people that support me is amazing and everyone gives 100%.

“I think the team at James Hall did a great job of highlighting to everyone how we can succeed despite the current economic climate. The new Food To Go initiatives and Cheeky Coffee brand evolution are all exciting concepts to set us apart from our competitors.

“The Guild opportunity has come about as I wanted to meet other retailers and gain more insight into what initiatives have been successful for them. I also wanted to have some small input feeding back how various seasonal promotions have worked in my store.”

Peter Dodding, Sales Director at James Hall & Co. Ltd and Chairman of the Northern Guild Committee, said: “Our annual Retailer Event is one of the most important in our company’s calendar, and it was superb to get everyone in one room to deliver our range of business updates to support the ambitions of our independent SPAR retailers.

“What’s more, with the store visits in the afternoon to our G&E Murgatroyd company-owned estate, our independent retailers were able to see some of the updates in action first hand, and the feedback we have received regarding the day has been brilliant.”

James Hall & Co. Ltd is SPAR UK’s primary wholesaler and distributor for the North of England. The company serves a network of 600 independent SPAR retailers and company owned SPAR stores six days a week from its base in Preston, Lancashire.

You can find out more about James Hall & Co. Ltd at www.jameshall.co.uk.

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