SPAR South Africa and Mr Price Group Reduce Youth Unemployment With New Initiative

South Africa, 2017-Mar-21 — /EPR Retail News/ — SPAR South Africa is working together with Mr Price Group to reduce youth unemployment. Invaluable retail work experience will be gained through MRP Foundation’s skills development initiative.

The programme, Jump Start, empowers unemployed youth with entry level skills and links them to job opportunities in its retail and supply chain. Since 2008, the youth development organisation has trained well over 22,000 previously unemployed youth, thereby launching over 10,000 careers.

With the SPAR Group’s investment, the MRP Foundation can continue to engage and enlist passionate youth who can connect with the vision, values and culture of SPAR.

Life skills and valuable hands-on work experience specific to SPAR’s retail environment is taught to students in the programme. To date, 1,000 candidates have already been trained in SPAR stores across South Africa and a further 5,000 will be trained through to 2019.

SPAR Group SA CEO, Graham O’Connor, believes this investment has the potential to make a meaningful difference within both SPAR stores and South Africa’s social space: “The relationship between The SPAR Group and Mr Price Group has grown and developed over the past five years through the MRP Foundation where we initially were invited to ‘piggyback’ on their skills development initiative in some of our stores. Through this initiative, we’re addressing our manpower needs at store level whilst at the same time targeting a reduction in unemployment of our country’s young people through helping them to acquire skills. Our initial investment in 2015 proved so successful that we’ve committed to a further three years.”

Mr Price Group CEO, Stuart Bird, also believes in the power of partnerships and in doing so, opening up greater opportunities for job seekers to step into the working environment. “We are delighted that The SPAR Group has committed to continue partnering with MRP Foundation in furthering the Jump Start programme for another three years. Our shared vision and passion for the betterment of our society, through creating opportunities for the employment of our youth, will continue to make us more effective together than if we had tried to do this alone.”

21 year old Aubrey S’kumbuzo Makhaza, a Jump Start beneficiary, is now employed at Knowles SPAR in Pinetown. He took the opportunity to develop skills and excelled in the program but his ambitions don’t end with employment.  “The team here are like my family and one day I even hope to own a SUPERSPAR with an organic rooftop garden!” he said.


SPAR International
Tel: +3120 626 6749

Source: Spar International

SPAR South Africa helps customers stay in shape with new exercise programme, My Home Gym

SPAR South Africa helps customers stay in shape with new exercise programme, My Home Gym

Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 2017-Mar-13 — /EPR Retail News/ — As part of its commitment to promoting an active and healthy lifestyle, SPAR South Africa has launched an exciting new exercise programme, My Home Gym, which is helping customers stay in shape.

An eight-week long programme, SPAR’s My Home Gym can be followed in the comfort of one’s own home. It has been designed by a registered biokineticist and is based on three sessions per week with cardio days in between. Participants are encouraged to continue after the eight weeks have finished, building the training into their regular exercise routine.

Videos, which outline the programme and demonstrate each exercise, can be downloaded from SPAR South Africa’s website. There are also printable guides to assist with stretching, warming-up and cardio routines, as well as weekly calendars for planning. Best of all, it’s completely free!

“A healthy lifestyle is all things in moderation,” says SPAR South Africa Food Safety Manager & Dietitian, Lauren Wilson.

“We want our customers and our employees to focus on healthy eating and exercise but we understand that with busy work and family schedules, keeping this up can be tough. Not many people can afford the cost of being a member of a gym, let alone a personal trainer. That’s why we have partnered with professional biokineticist, Joe Xaba, who has helped us put together an exercise programme that can be followed at home, at your own pace.

“The videos show each exercise’s technique, explained in detail by Joe and demonstrated by our host, Lelo. Once you’ve seen how to execute each exercise correctly, you can start the programme.”

The exercise campaign is the latest addition to SPAR South Africa’s programme of promoting an active lifestyle. The SPAR Partner also organises a series of road races in cities around the country, which promote women’s running and is the main sponsor of the South African Netball team and the KwaZulu-Natal soccer club, AmaZulu.

Take a look at the SPAR South Africa website for more information on My Home Gym and start your eight-week exercise programme today.

SOURCE: SPAR International

SPAR International
+3120 626 67

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.”


SPAR International
+3120 626 6749


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

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