- Performance driven by strong growth across Europe, and entry into new and developing markets
- SPAR now operational in 44 countries, with 12,545 stores employing 350,000 people, following continued international expansion
- Results point to “strong revival in proximity retailing” – SPAR Managing Director, Tobias Wasmuht
London, 2017-May-17 — /EPR Retail News/ — SPAR International, the world’s largest voluntary food retail chain, has today (May 16,2017) announced global retail sales for the year ending December 31st, 2016 of €33.1 billion, with sales driven by strong and sustained growth across Europe, as well as continued expansion into new and developing markets.
The results, which represent an increase in retail sales of 4.5% on a constant currency basis, were announced at the 62nd International SPAR Congress taking place this week in Gran Canaria, Spain, attended by over 330 SPAR Partners representing the 44 countries worldwide in which SPAR now has a presence.
Addressing the delegates, Managing Director of SPAR International, Tobias Wasmuht, said “In what was a record year for SPAR, the blend of like-for-like organic growth, successful acquisitions and strategic new country expansion, resulted in the brand growing at its fastest rate in 10 years. Since our foundation 85 years ago, our purpose has been to grow our brand, our presence and our partners by enhancing the competitiveness, productivity and profitability of our retail and wholesale partners worldwide. As the retail landscape becomes ever more competitive, the SPAR brand continues to be the number one partner of choice for leading-edge independent retailers across an increasing number of global geographies.”
Performance highlights during the year included:
- The launch of the SPAR brand in new territories including Thailand and Albania, with further expansion through new regional partners in China and Russia. Additional territories were licenced during the year with stores scheduled to open in 2017 in Mongolia, Malta and Sri Lanka;
- An increase of 369 stores year-on-year, bringing total store numbers to 12,545 globally together having 7.2 million m2 in retail sales area;
- 8% growth in SPAR’s traditional European markets, with SPAR’s nine Eurozone countries growing retail sales to €15 billion, and SPAR UK recording 8% growth in local currency;
- Strong growth in Central and Eastern Europe (+6.5% in Euro terms) and Russia (+7.7% in local currency), characterised by increasing brand awareness and customer loyalty, despite discount competition;
- Sustained growth in Africa and the Middle East, where the SPAR brand now has a presence in 15 markets, with SPAR South Africa (+8.3% in local currency), United Arab Emirates and Oman (+54% and +193% growth respectively in Euro terms) paving the way for future regional expansion in 2017;
- In Asia, SPAR’s entry into the Thai market will see 300 new stores over the next five years open. Retail sales area in the region now totals 1.2 million m2 across 619 stores – an increase of over 65,000 m2 in one year;
- Continued investment in SPAR’s digital retail platform with Partners in Austria, Norway, the Netherlands, France, China and India successfully integrating online into their wider multi-format strategies.
Tobias Wasmuht continued, “Underlying trends in the 2016 SPAR results point to an ongoing strong revival in neighbourhood – or proximity – retailing, with investment in the modernisation of neighbourhood stores and the resurgence of new urban city stores, key factors in delivering above average growth in many of our traditional European markets.”
Looking to the future he added, “Our 2017 growth pipeline in both new and traditional markets is very encouraging. The combination of the local ownership and knowledge of our Partners, coupled with global expertise and insights of SPAR International, means our retailers are well positioned to succeed, despite prevailing economic and political uncertainty in many of our markets.”
SPAR International works with Partners to develop supply chain, retail operations, staff training, retail design and brand development strategies, while its multi-format strategy sees its Partners operate hypermarket, supermarket, neighbourhood, convenience and online stores now serving the needs of 13 million customers daily.
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Source: Spar International