SPAR International to open 40 stores in Saudi Arabia by 2020 with Al Sadhan Group

Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 2018-Jan-30 — /EPR Retail News/ — SPAR International has announced the brand’s entry into the Saudi Arabian retail market. Partnering with the well-established Saudi conglomerate, the Al Sadhan Group, the plan is to open 40 stores in Saudi Arabia by 2020.

Yesterday, three large SPAR Supermarkets ranging in size from 2,900m2 – 4,500m2 were officially opened in Riyadh, the nation’s capital and primary economic hub. Plans are in place to open a further five stores throughout 2018, bringing the total number of stores in the country to eight by the end of the year.

The first SPAR stores in the Saudi Arabian market will be aimed at the mid- to premium sector of the retail market. However, as the brand develops in the country, SPAR plans to launch stores in all economic sectors, providing all customers with competitive pricing for the best global and local products.

The Al Sadhan Group is a family owned business established in 1952. Its services include real estate, facilities management, food retail and brand development. Al Sadhan Stores operates the company’s retail arm employing 1,500 colleagues and has a long history in the market, being the first supermarket to obtain a business licence in Riyadh in 1952. SPAR International began their partnership with Al Sadhan in 2016, soft launching the first SPAR store in the second half of 2017.

SPAR International has provided extensive support to Al Sadhan in the lead-up to the store openings including study tours to other SPAR markets and fostering awareness of the SPAR Way of Working. Support was also given in logistics development, supply chain creation and store design.

The stores will benefit from the access to globally and locally sourced SPAR Own Brand products, expertise in category management and the support from SPAR International’s design and development teams to ensure modern and dynamic store design.

SPAR International will also support SPAR Saudi Arabia to utilise the strengths of the joint buying model to ensure competitiveness.

The partnership with Al Sadhan in Saudi Arabia builds on SPAR International’s existing partnerships in the wider region, notably in the United Arab Emirates, Oman and Qatar.

A grand opening ceremony took place in Riyadh, with ribbon-cutting ceremonies at the three high-quality SPAR Supermarkets. Tobias Wasmuht, SPAR International’s Managing Director, was joined by Mrs. Mascha Baak the Deputy Head of Mission at the embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands and amongst others, Mr. Mohammed bin Abdul Aziz Al Sadhan, Chairman of Al Sadhan, to celebrate the brand’s official debut in Saudi Arabia.

Speaking at a press conference announcing SPAR’s entry into the market, Tobias Wasmuht, said: “With a growing young population, rising GDP and increased consumer purchasing power, the retail market in Saudi Arabia has been growing steadily. We are delighted to enter this exciting and dynamic market with such an established and well-respected Partner as Al Sadhan Group. In addition, the new partnership provides SPAR with yet another important base in the Middle East, a region that is becoming more and more important to SPAR International’s strategic business development.”

Mr. Mohammed bin Abdul Aziz Al Sadhan commented: “We are very proud of this partnership with SPAR International. Having the right mix between SPAR International’s knowledge and best practice along with our experience in the local market will provide our customers with an excellent retail experience. The SPAR Brand products will be a key factor in our success, and we are getting great support from SPAR International’s team to source items from SPAR Partners around the world. Also, this partnership is in-line with the Saudi Arabian vision 2030 and the support we have from the Saudi government for the development of the Saudi market.”

Contact:

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

Source: Spar International

SPAR International announces the appointment of Wouter Lefevere as Head of International Buying

SPAR International announces the appointment of Wouter Lefevere as Head of International Buying

 

Amsterdam, 2017-Jun-20 — /EPR Retail News/ — SPAR International, the world’s largest voluntary food retail chain, has today (JUNE 19, 2017) announced the appointment of Wouter Lefevere as Head of International Buying.

Based in the organization’s international head office in Amsterdam, Mr Lefevere will take on key buying responsibilities including supplier relationships and negotiations, working in close co-operation with SPAR partners worldwide to build on the brand’s growing international scale and presence.

SPAR, which has a presence with 12,545 stores in 44 countries, recently reported sales of €33.1 billion for 2016.

Mr. Lefevere joins SPAR with a wealth of international buying experience, having held a number of senior buying and commercial development roles for Lidl in France, Belgium and the Netherlands.

Welcoming Mr Lefevere, Tobias Wasmuht, Managing Director of SPAR International said, “Buying better together internationally is a key pillar of the scope of services provided to our partners, and the appointment of Wouter signals our intention to further enhance this scope. Today, we collaborate with our supplier partners on behalf of our SPAR partners in 44 countries across four continents. As a result we have a uniquely strong global network which not only allows us to source better by leveraging our international scale but also to provide extensive market access opportunities for our international suppliers.”

Lefevere will be responsible for delivering on SPAR’s recently launched Buying Better Together strategy, leading a team which will focus on collaboratively working with partners and suppliers in the areas of own brand development, warehouse & logistics, supplier partnerships and analysis & marketing.

Wasmuht continued: “As a partnership of independent retailers and wholesalers, SPAR International doesn’t adopt a traditional transactional supplier-buyer relationship with our SPAR partners but takes a collaborative approach. We offer resources and buying services to our partners to help them grow their business. Wouter and the team will work to grow joint buying volumes of SPAR Partners and the penetration of SPAR International Own Brands, as well as facilitate the pooling of buying volumes of FMCG brands.”

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.

Contact:

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

Source: Spar International

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A.F. Blakemore’s Peter Blakemore presented the Adriaan van Well Medal for his outstanding contribution to SPAR International

Amsterdam, Netherlands, 2017-Jun-03 — /EPR Retail News/ — Peter Blakemore, Managing Director of A.F. Blakemore and Son Ltd, has been presented the Adriaan van Well Medal for his outstanding contribution to SPAR International, the world’s largest food retail voluntary chain.

A.F. Blakemore and Son was founded in 1917 when Arthur and Harriet Blakemore opened a counter-service grocery store in Wolverhampton.  Peter joined the family business in 1965 and is the third generation of the Blakemore family to lead the company. During his tenure, the organisation has enjoyed a prolonged period of expansion and growth, so that it is now the 39th largest privately owned business in the UK.

Today, the 100-year-old company consists of nine trading divisions spanning across the retail, wholesale, food service, logistics and shop fitting sectors. It employs more than 8,100 people and owns and operates 300 SPAR convenience stores. In addition, A.F Blakemore runs 14 cash and carry depots, with six major distribution centres located across the Midlands, South Wales, East Sussex and Yorkshire.

Throughout his career, Peter has promoted the independent sector of the wholesale and retail food industry, supporting independent small business community stores throughout the country. The company works with almost 800 independently owned SPAR stores, many of which are owned and operated by family businesses themselves.

Peter Blakemore has played an integral part in the growth of SPAR UK and the rise of the convenience retail sector, serving as a director on the SPAR UK Board for more than 40 years with 20 years as the Chairman of the Board. In addition, he has served as a member of the Board of SPAR International for 12 years.

Adriaan van Well was an innovative Dutch wholesaler who founded SPAR in the Netherlands in 1932. Van Well had a clear vision and was inspired by a simple philosophy – independent wholesalers and retailers can achieve more by working together.

Speaking about award, Managing Director of SPAR International Tobias Wasmuht said: “The van Well Medal is the highest honour within the worldwide SPAR organization. “In over 85 years of SPAR’s proud history, the van Well medal has been awarded only 23 times in recognition of individuals whose contribution to the SPAR has been exemplary and personify the SPAR values and ideals that all shall benefit from mutual co-operation as set out by our founder and the first person to be recognized by the van Well medal, Mr. Adriaan van Well himself. Peter has contributed greatly to SPAR in the UK and Internationally. His extraordinary energy and enthusiasm and commitment to his colleagues, his customers, his community and SPAR International exemplifies this principle.”

Peter Blakemore steps down from the Board of SPAR International. His position will be taken by Dominic Hall, Deputy Managing Director James Hall & Co. Ltd and Chairman of the National Guild of SPAR. The appointment was made at the Shareholders Meeting in Gran Canaria on 17th May.

Contact:

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

Source: Spar International

SPAR International highlights its strategic developments in 2016

The interactive version of the review is now available, complementing the downloadable PDF file.

Thailand, 2017-May-29 — /EPR Retail News/ — In addition to the worldwide results announced on 16 May, there are highlights of the strategic developments within SPAR and highlights of activities in each of the 44 SPAR markets.

The launch of SPAR in Albania & Thailand last year are highlighted in a short interview with SPAR International Managing Director Tobias Wasmuht within the Expansion focus. SPAR Partners saw another great year of growth and innovation which has been recognised in the industry with SPAR Thailand (SPAR Ratchapruek), and SPAR Gran Canaria (SPAR Natural concept) being nominated for the NACS Insight International Convenience Retailer of the Year Award. The two stores are among ten finalists that have been nominated based on the innovation and creativity demonstrated by these flagship stores.

SPAR Ratchapruek harnesses the best practice from SPAR’s convenience retailing worldwide and the learnings from other markets with expertise in forecourt retailing. Developed by a strong local Partner, the Bangchak Group, together with SPAR International, SPAR Ratchapruek is a world class, modern, convenience store, changing the landscape of forecourt retailing in the market.

The SPAR Natural concept store is a pioneering new concept launched in Gran Canaria, based on the growing consumer demand for healthy choices. Working together with SPAR Gran Canaria and SPAR Spain, SPAR International developed this concept in response to the growing demand for health and wellness products. With a range of over 4,500 health and wellness products sourced internationally as well as locally, the store clearly differentiates itself from its competitors.

The NACS Insight Convenience Retail Awards recognise outstanding achievements in the international retail community and provide one of the best benchmarks of global convenience retailing excellence. The nominations were decided by the Grand Jury, which included leading experts from business, retail and design. The NACS Insight Awards are now in their ninth year. The winner will be announced on the 14th of June at the St. Pancras Renaissance hotel in London as part of the annual Convenience Summit.

Contact:

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

Source: Spar International

SPAR International records 4.5% increase in retail sales during 2016

  • 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.

Contact:

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

Source: Spar International

SPAR Australia presents its annual Supplier of the Year Awards

The 2016 SPAR Australia Supplier of the Year, Mondelēz Confectionery

Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 2017-Mar-29 — /EPR Retail News/ — SPAR Australia has once again recognised the support of key suppliers across various categories, presenting the coveted annual SPAR Supplier of the Year Awards at a dinner hosted by Australian Olympic Gold Medallist, Duncan Armstrong, earlier this month.

In a night designed to acknowledge the suppliers who partner with SPAR Australia to drive growth, SPAR would like to congratulate the following suppliers on their success in their respective categories:

  • 2016 Supplier of the Year – Mondelēz Confectionery
  • 2016 Grocery Supplier of the Year – Coca-Cola Amatil
  • 2016 Non-Food Supplier of the Year – McPherson’s Consumer Products
  • 2016 Perishable Supplier of the Year – Grove Juice
  • 2016 Promotional Support of the Year – Don KRC
  • 2016 Private Label Supplier of the Year – Grove Juice
  • 2016 Direct Supplier of the Year – Independent Produce Professionals
  • 2016 New Product Launch of the Year – Cadbury Oreo Chocolate
  • 2016 Account Manager of the Year – Tony Wyber Asaleo Care

2016 Supplier of the Year:

Mondelēz Confectionery achieved a standout 2016, narrowly edging out other great performing suppliers in each of the Award’s criteria. The supplier showed terrific growth in 2016 of 18% over the previous year. The change in performance was largely due to a change in account management and a renewed focus on the SPAR business.

During the evening’s presentation sessions, SPAR Australia’s Managing Director, Lou Jardin, spoke about the critical role SPAR’s suppliers play in the success of the business. From supporting the merchandising team in category reviews and consolidating the range, to promotional support. He shared SPAR’s five key strategies: presenting a value statement, implementing a focused range, clearing the clutter, merchandising for sales and keeping it clean and fresh.

Niels Dekkers, International Marketing & Strategic Projects Manager for SPAR International travelled from Amsterdam for the event. Niels shared some of SPAR’s key international growth, sales and store figures, as well as international innovations and expansions. The growth and supplier opportunities in Asia were demonstrated by the impressive results coming out of SPAR China, India, Indonesia and Thailand. Focusing on the newest developments in Thailand, Niels shared impressive details of the store concepts, layouts and branding opportunities. The key strategies for SPAR’s success in Thailand demonstrate international convenience best practice and focus on areas such as health, Food-to-Go, locally sourced products, freshness and passionate teamwork.

The support of SPAR Australia’s suppliers over the last year has contributed to its growth and development. The partner continues to build its business and the 2017 theme, Inspiring Excellence, is a fitting next step to ensure the continued success of this great independent network.

SOURCE: SPAR International

SPAR International
Penny van der Kaars
Communication Manager

SPAR International announces €74 million investment on up to 300 new stores across Thailand

  • SPAR International and Bangchak Retail Company Limited Thailand announce significant new retail partnership.
  • €74 million investment will see up to 300 new stores across the country in the next five years.

Amsterdam and Bangkok, 2016-Nov-29 — /EPR Retail News/ — SPAR International (“SPAR”) and Bangchak Retail Company Limited (“BCR”), today [28 November 2016] announced a significant new partnership agreement which will see up to 300 new SPAR stores opening in Thailand by the end of 2020, as part of a €74 million investment.

SPAR International is the world’s largest food retail voluntary chain with over 12,100 stores worldwide and global retail sales of €33 billion in 2015. SPAR presence in Asia continues to grow with the brand attracting independent partners.

BCR plan to open 7 new stores during 2016, comprising key flagship convenience and neighbourhood developments. From 2017 the company plans to open 50-80 stores each year for the next five years with up to 2,500 jobs created in the process. BCR’s retail strategy meets customer needs, with strong market growth in the neighbourhood grocery sector in Thailand; the company anticipates retail sales of €245 million by 2020.

The partnership with BCR will see SPAR share industry expertise with its new partner including the sharing of best practice across its supply chain, retail operations, staff training, retail design and brand development strategy. SPAR Thailand is expanding forecourt retailing stores around food purchasing moments and to achieve this initiative SPAR International worked with BCR to generate detailed store designs and layouts. Ahead of the opening of the first stores, SPAR International also supported the formation of the requisite supply chain capability, introduced the SPAR culture to the teams in the stores and central office, gave advice about equipment suppliers and assisted with secondments to other SPAR Partners by key team members to expand their knowledge of the SPAR Brand.

Speaking at the official announcement of the new partnership Tobias Wasmuht, Managing Director of SPAR International said “In the last decade, SPAR International has grown from strength to strength in key strategic markets of Asia. Today, we have a significant multi-format presence including hypermarkets, supermarkets, convenience and online in China, India, and Indonesia. The launch of SPAR in Thailand in partnership with BCR represents a significant and important step forward in SPAR’s ongoing expansion into Asian markets.  It brings together our internationally tried and tested retail expertise particularly in convenience and supermarket formats with the extensive knowledge of the Thai market. The partnership is a true example of the SPAR ethos in which through working together all shall benefit.”

The new venture is being led on the BCR side by Mr. Viboon Wongsakul, Managing Director of Bangchak Retail Company Limited. Speaking about the partnership Mr. Wongsakul said “BCR is excited to bring this new offering to customers in Thailand. SPAR and BCR share many key values such as a dedication to growth, a commitment to local suppliers, supporting communities and offering diverse retail solutions. We plan to bring local retailing to the next level and will dedicate the resources necessary to have a significant presence in the market in the shortest possible time-frame.”

As a shared core value, SPAR and BCR focus on supporting the communities in which they operate. During the development of the flagship stores in 2016, special focus will be given to the ability to source produce and product locally. SPAR International has a process in place for the development of own brand products by a Partner and has worked with BCR on the development and launch of a national range of own brand products.

Contact:

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

Source: Spar International

SPAR International releases Contact International 3 magazine

AMSTERDAM, The Netherlands, 2016-Sep-21 — /EPR Retail News/ — Amongst others, we feature the key themes arising from the 61st International SPAR Congress in Norway, where partners from 37 SPAR countries came together to share their annual highlights. We introduce the newly elected President of SPAR International, Graham O’Connor, and pay tribute to previous President, Leo Crawford, who led the SPAR worldwide organisation for the past 11 years. We also look back at the success of the 2016 European Athletics Championships, which marked 20 years of SPAR sponsorship.

To read these and other stories about SPAR worldwide, follow this link. Missed the previous two issues? No problem, the last page of the magazine includes a link to earlier editions.

The magazine is available in five languages (English, Spanish, German, French and Italian). The link will automatically open the English language version. To switch between languages, simply click on the arrow next to the country flags on the menu bar.

Contact:

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

Source: Spar International

SPAR International updates on its online initiatives this year

AMSTERDAM, The Netherlands, 2016-Jul-23 — /EPR Retail News/ — SPAR International has rolled out a number of online initiatives this year, starting with the online publication of Contact International, the magazine developed for SPAR Partners and Retailers. A fully refreshed website was also launched as well as an internal communications platform featuring SPAR Partner news and information.

In our 2015 SPAR International Annual Report, launched in May, we drew attention to the positive achievements of our many partners across Europe, Asia, Africa and the Middle East – summarizing the exciting developments and innovations that have contributed to the strong performance of SPAR worldwide.

An ePub version of the 2015 Annual Report is available for viewing here. It includes a video message from Managing Director, Tobias Wasmuht and an interview with Yoep Man, Managing Director of SPAR China, which outlines the strengths of the SPAR Brand in China and the opportunities that lie ahead.

The Annual Report is now also available for downloading in German, Italian and Spanish in PDF format.

Contact International issues 1 and 2 are now available in mobile friendly versions or to view on a desktop by clicking this link.

As we move into the second-half of the year, the focus on mobile-friendly online communications will continue.

Contact:

Telephone: +31 20 626 6749
Email: info@spar-international.com

Source: Spar International

SPAR International partners with conglomerate Max Group LLC to open its first stores in Mongolia

AMSTERDAM, 2016-Jul-20 — /EPR Retail News/ — SPAR, the world’s largest food retail voluntary chain, has announced a new partnership with conglomerate Max Group LLC, to open its first stores in Mongolia. The partnership, which will see up to 60 SPAR-branded multi-format stores in Mongolia by 2020, was made at an official signing ceremony which took place during the visit of the Dutch Prime Minister, Mark Rutte, to Mongolian capital Ulaanbaatar.

Max Group is one of Mongolia’s leading retailers operating the existing chain of Max Food Supermarkets.  The new partnership will see these stores transfer to the SPAR brand, and the opening of new SPAR supermarkets from 2017 onwards. The Netherlands-based SPAR International reported global retail sales in 2015 of €33 billion from over 12,100 stores across four continents. Mongolia brings to 43 the number of countries where SPAR has operations globally.

Prime Minister Rutte was visiting Mongolia to attend the 11th Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) Summit and to promote trade with the Netherlands in the region. Speaking at the signing of the contracts between SPAR and Max Group, the Prime Minister Rutte, said, “It is greatly encouraging to see a company like SPAR, which started as a partnership of Dutch retailers and wholesalers more than 80 years ago, helping bring retail best practice to the Mongolian marketplace.”

SPAR International Managing Director, Tobias Wasmuht said “SPAR is delighted to be launching in Mongolia in partnership with the Max Group.  We see Mongolia as a dynamic and rapidly developing consumer market with a growing demand for modern world class food retail. We are highly confident that we can build on our strong presence in the region by leveraging our scale with the SPAR operations in neighbouring Irkutsk, Russia and Inner Mongolia, China. This collaboration combined with our modern retail formats, supply chain and international sourcing as well as investing in the training and development in people locally will act as a significant support structure for the growth and development of SPAR in Mongolia. I would like to take the opportunity to thank the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands who were instrumental in facilitating the partnership between SPAR and the Max Group.”

Max Group LLC is a family business established in the 1990s which has a wide variety of operations and business interests including supermarkets, fast food restaurants, department stores, real estate, precious metal mining and is the country’s largest dairy producer and milk bottler. Max Group LLC already employs over 2,500 people in Mongolia. Max Group President, Ganbaatar Dagvadorj said “Bringing the words leading retail chain, SPAR, to Mongolia is not just beneficial to Max Group it is a big opportunity for Mongolia as well and I am very excited about this partnership. Max is dedicated to bringing the SPAR’s commitment to excellence in fresh, passion for quality, outstanding service and exceptional value to consumers in Mongolia.”

Contact:

Telephone:+31 20 626 6749
Email:info@spar-international.com

Source: Spar-International

SPAR South Africa CEO Graham O’Connor elected President of SPAR International

Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 2016-Jun-03 — /EPR Retail News/ — Graham O’Connor, Chief Executive Officer of SPAR South Africa has been elected President of SPAR International, the world’s largest voluntary food retail chain with global retail sales of €33 billion in 2015. He will succeed Leo Crawford, Chairman of SPAR Ireland, who had held the role since 2005.

The announcement was made at the 61st International SPAR Congress which took place in Bergen, Norway, last week. The annual Congress was attended by over 290 delegates from 38 countries and 4 continents.

Graham O’Connor comes to the role of President of SPAR International with exceptional retail experience, having worked with SPAR South Africa at both a retail and wholesale level. O’Connor has been CEO of SPAR South Africa since January 2014, having previously served as the Divisional Managing Director of SPAR South Africa’s KwaZulu-Natal Region.

SPAR South Africa Group’s total retail footprint now comprises more than 1,440 SPAR stores across South Africa, Ireland and Switzerland, with retail sales exceeding 6,7 billion euro. In Southern Africa, the group has a presence in 6 countries with over 880 SPAR stores. In 2014, SPAR South Africa took a majority stake in BWG Group, owners and operators of SPAR Ireland and on 1st April 2016, SPAR South Africa acquired 60% of the shareholding of SPAR Switzerland AG from the existing shareholders, Leuthold & Co Ag and ASPIAG (Austria SPAR International AG).

Speaking about his selection Graham O’Connor said “To be elected as President of SPAR International is a great honour. I look forward to working with the Board and our Partners from all over the world to continue to grow and develop the organisation. I would also like to formally thank Leo Crawford for all his hard work and dedication to the role throughout his outstanding tenure as President.”

Chairman of SPAR Ireland, Leo Crawford was appointed to the SPAR International Board in 2001 and was elected President of SPAR International in 2005.  During his tenure as president SPAR underwent exceptional international growth, growing it’s presence to its current scale of over 12,100 stores in 42 countries worldwide.

Speaking about his time as President, Leo Crawford remarked “As the 6th President in the history of this great organisation, I have been honoured to have served for 11 years as Chairman of the Board.  I am delighted that Graham O’Connor has accepted the invitation to become the 7thPresident of SPAR International.  I wish Graham all the very best and I am confident that SPAR will grow from strength to strength under his dynamic leadership.”

CONTACT

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

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SPAR South Africa CEO Graham O’Connor elected President of SPAR International

SPAR South Africa CEO Graham O’Connor elected President of SPAR International

SPAR International Annual Report 2015: Our strongest sales growth in five years

Amsterdam, The Netherlands 2016-May-24 — /EPR Retail News/ — Following on from the release of the highlights of our 2015 annual results in April, the full 2015 International SPAR Annual Report is now available, featuring many more details. Just to recap, 2015 was another year of substantial progress for SPAR International. Total sales rose €1.2 billion, or 3.5%, to reach €33 billion – our strongest sales growth in five years – driven by the ongoing recovery in Europe, and continuing expansion of the SPAR Brand in emerging markets, particularly in Asia and Africa. We successfully entered five new countries on four separate continents, increasing our global footprint to 42 countries worldwide.

Last year’s performance demonstrates once again the strength, attractiveness and resilience of the SPAR Brand as we maintained our growth over what has been an extremely volatile economic period for the worlds’ economies.

In our new-look Annual Report we draw attention to the positive achievements of our many partners across Western, Central and Eastern Europe, Asia, Africa and the Middle East, and the exciting developments and innovations they undertook during 2015 that contributed to their success and to the strong performance of SPAR International.

The ePub version is available for viewing here and the English language file can be downloaded here.

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

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 SPAR International Annual Report 2015: Our strongest sales growth in five years

SPAR International Annual Report 2015: Our strongest sales growth in five years

SPAR International opens its first store in Azerbaijan

AMSTERDAM, 2015-12-10 — /EPR Retail News/ — SPAR International, the world’s largest voluntary retail chain, has announced further expansion of its global footprint with confirmation that the brand has opened its first store in Azerbaijan.

Located in Baku, the country’s capital, the new 1,800m² SPAR store has been established with local partner Araz which already services more than 37,000 daily customers and operates neighbourhood stores, convenience stores and supermarkets. Araz, which became a SPAR partner in April this year, was founded in 2010 and is part of Veyseloglu LLC, a leading retail and wholesale business which was established in 1992 and has over 2,500 employees.

SPAR’s growth in the Caucasus follows confirmation of plans by Khimji Ramdas, the brand’s partner in Oman, to open 21 new stores in the Sultanate by the end of 2017.

Speaking at the official opening of the first SPAR store in Baku General Director SPAR Azerbaijan Vusal Sharifov said, “Food retailing continues to be one of the most dynamic sectors of Azerbaijan’s economy and Araz has strong plans for growth, with the aim of opening more than eight new SPAR stores with a total sales area of 12 000 m2 by the end of 2017. The introduction of the SPAR brand into the local market brings global best practice to retailing in Azerbaijan and delivers a new and unique offering to local consumers based on the SPAR principles of freshness, quality, choice and customer service.”

David Moore,SPAR InternationalBusiness Development Director said “Building strong partnerships, sharing international best practice and adhering to SPAR’s core principles has resulted in continued and growing interest from independent retail partners across the globe – particularly in developing economies.

“Our partners in Azerbaijan and Oman, have ambitious plans for growth in both of their markets and we look forward to working with them to grow their presence further into the future.”

The Azerbaijan opening brings to four the number of new SPAR countries in 2015 following store openings in Cameroon, Malawi and Indonesia.

SOURCE: SPAR International

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SPAR International opens its first store in Azerbaijan

SPAR International opens its first store in Azerbaijan

SPAR International shortlisted for the Retailer of the Year Award at the World Retail Congress (WRC) in Rome

AMSTERDAM, 2015-9-10 — /EPR Retail News/ — SPAR International, the world’s largest voluntary retail chain, has been shortlisted for the prestigious Retailer of the Year Award at the World Retail Congress (WRC) taking place in Rome. The award recognises companies the grand jury believe to be best in class in a number of key areas including financial performance and sales growth, adapting to a changing environment, and setting new standards for the industry to follow.

The nomination comes on the back of strong growth for the SPAR brand over the last decade including significant expansion in Asia, the Middle East and Russia. In May, the organisation reported worldwide sales of €31.9 billion for 2014, driven by entry into 10 new territories.

Speaking following the nomination, Gordon Campbell, Managing Director of SPAR International said: “The Retailer of the Year nomination is recognition of the strategic approach we have taken to the international expansion of the business, as well as the ongoing popularity of the SPAR Brand across the globe. While the brand continues to go from strength-to-strength in our traditional European marketplaces, the last 10 years has seen SPAR also become the partner of choice for leading independent retail operators in new and emerging markets. Our focus on the SPAR Brand values of freshness, choice, value and service, combined with best in class retail innovation, has resonated strongly with modern consumers from Ireland to Indonesia.

“The nomination represents a significant vote of confidence in our multi-format strategy which has allowed our retail partners to adapt the brand to suit their needs, as well as the needs of their customers – from SPAR convenience stores in diverse high traffic locations through to full service SPAR Hypermarkets. It also represents recognition for our partners who drive the success of the brand at both regional and country levels.”

Despite the worldwide recession which has impacted the retail industry over the last years, SPAR has experienced double-digit growth in global retail turnover during that period. In 2014 alone, SPAR entered 10 new territories, opening stores in Asia (Indonesia and India), Africa (Angola and Malawi), Eastern Europe (Georgia), as well as adding new partners in Russia and China. In the first half of 2015, SPAR has entered Azerbaijan and continued its rapid expansion in India and Indonesia.

The overall winner of the WRC Retailer of the Year Award will be announced at a gala dinner in Rome on September 10th.

SOURCE: SPAR International