Arthur Blakemore started out supplying paper bags to retailers in 1917, before opening his first warehouse in Wolverhampton in 1934. Today the family wholesale business supplies 750 Spar convenience stores along with pubs, schools and prisons from a distribution centre in the West Midlands. Run by the founder’s grandson, Peter Blakemore, it had slim margins on sales of £505m and employed 4,457 staff in 2002.
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