The latest from the Black Country 

AF Blakemore Strikes Job-Saving Deal

AF Blakemore and Son, which owns hundreds of SPAR shops across England and Wales, has acquired a counterpart out of administration in a deal that has saved 76 jobs.

BDO restructuring partners Simon Girling and Danny Dartnaill were appointed joint administrators of County Stores Holdings, County Stores (Grocers) and County Stores (Supermarkets) on 6 April 2017.

The group owned five businesses under the SPAR brand in Ledbury, Presteigne, Oxford, Witney and Eynsham and two other businesses trading under the NISA brand in Lydney and Coleford in Gloucestershire.

AF Blakemore has acquired the SPAR operation, with all employees transferred over. However, 31 staff have been made redundant at the businesses trading under the Nisa brand, with the remainder of its 68-strong workforce retained to assist a stock clearance.

Girling said: "Unfortunately, difficult trading conditions and a shortfall in the company’s working capital position significantly affected the business. I am delighted that 76 jobs have been saved through the sale of the Spar businesses to AF Blakemore and Son Ltd, where they can now move forward on a secure financial footing."

A spokesman from AF Blakemore and Son added: "We are pleased to have completed the purchase of County Stores and have plans developing the business moving forward."

For more information please contact A.F. Blakemore & Son on 01902 366066 or visit

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