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

New partnership brings SPAR brand to Cyprus

Cyprus, 2017-Jul-11 — /EPR Retail News/ — SPAR International has announced an exciting new partnership with Ermes Department Stores PLC, a member of The Cyprus Trading Corporation PLC, the largest and most diversified listed Group in Cyprus. The new entity, SPAR Cyprus, aims to become the leading wholesale and retail service provider to independent retailers in Cyprus, through expert leadership, cooperation and support. The brand will be developed with local adaptation to global best practice.

The partnership between the world’s largest voluntary food retail chain and Cyprus’s leading retail company will bring a new dynamic to the competitive retail market in the country. Both entities bring a wealth of experience and expertise to this new venture. SPAR, which has 12,545 stores in 44 countries, recently reported sales of €33.1 billion for 2016.

Today (JULY 10, 2017), Ermes is the leading retail company in Cyprus in Apparel, Cosmetics, DIY and Electronics, operating more than 90 retail shops, seven of which are in Greece, with over 75,000sq m of retail space. Ermes retail brands portfolio includes Debenhams, NEXT, Oviesse, Forever 21, Armani Exchange, Tommy Hilfiger, Diesel, Superdry, Desigual, Pepe jeans, Springfield, Cortefiel, Oasis, Warehouse and many more.

SPAR Cyprus will focus on the opening of company owned food retail outlets, whilst in parallel expanding the SPAR footprint of stores through actively partnering with independent retailers. The first SPAR stores to open in Cyrus are planned for Q1 2018 with a target of opening of more than 20 SPAR Supermarkets over the coming five years. The stores will be both independent retailer conversions to the SPAR brand and new company owned greenfield SPAR Supermarkets to be developed by Ermes.

SPAR International is providing support through retail layout and design, own brand product procurement, retail staff training and development, supply chain optimisation, retail location assessment, project management, retail operations, and brand building marketing campaigns. This access to international SPAR best practice will be combined with local expertise and skills to provide independent retailers with a full package of solutions and tools to enable them to thrive and survive in a very competitive market. The range of international support services to independents does not currently exist within the other buying groups in the market.

Speaking about the announcement, Managing Director of SPAR International Tobias Wasmuht said “The introduction of SPAR to Cyprus provides the leading independent retailers of Cyprus the possibility to respond to growing market concentration in Cyprus of national and international chains, whilst meeting the needs of both local and international tourist shoppers. Unifying together as SPAR Cyprus permits the progressive independent retailers of Cyprus to maintain their independence, whilst seizing the benefits of a strong international food retail brand with the scale benefits of a buying group operating on both a national and international level. We are delighted to partner with the Ermes Group to bring SPAR to Cyprus and are confident in the future success of our partnership”.

Marios Shacolas of the Ermes Group said “The Ermes Group’s Vision for the future is to maintain market leadership in Cyprus and through new strategic alliances and associations create the right framework for continued profitable growth without compromising our social responsibility. Whilst we will benefit from the SPAR global network and support services, we will not lose sight of our need to strengthen local manufacturers, distributors and retailers, giving back to our local economy. This new partnership with SPAR is the perfect opportunity to achieve this vision and we are very confident in this new venture.”

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 Zimbabwe Ltd all set for growth in 2017

Zimbabwe, 2017-Jan-14 — /EPR Retail News/ — SPAR Zimbabwe Ltd recently announced firm plans are in place to grow the SPAR business further in 2017. The new, wholly locally owned company has a management team with both retail and distribution expertise and SPAR Zimbabwe Ltd is set for growth.

At the beginning of 2016, SPAR International granted the shareholders of SPAR Zimbabwe Ltd the licence to operate the SPAR Brand and during the course of this year, they have grown the retail portfolio they manage and also developed a distribution and direct purchasing business.

Speaking about this new partnership, Tobias Wasmuht, Managing Director of SPAR International said: “Since its establishment in 1932, SPAR has grown by following the principle of working together for mutual benefit and growth. We are confident that SPAR Zimbabwe Ltd is able to support and work with the licenced independent retailers to continue to deliver excellent service to their customers. We will support SPAR Zimbabwe Ltd fully to develop their supply chain and expand their retail footprint across the country.”

Independent retailers are licensed to operate the brand and today there are 21 stores which are 100% owned by independent Zimbabwean retailers in addition to the 10 stores operated by SPAR Zimbabwe Ltd. When the previous licence holder left the market, the newly formed SPAR Zimbabwe Ltd took over six stores, with eighty percent of the staff in those stores able to join the new company.

SPAR Retailers are supplied from the centralised warehouse which delivers not only FMCG products but also a range of locally sourced speciality brands and SPAR Own Brands, which are increasingly being produced in Zimbabwe. SPAR South Africa continues to support the business by supplying products to complement locally sourced goods.

Embracing family values throughout the organisation, training staff and introducing innovative and sustainable solutions are all principles that bolster and encourage this growth.  As with SPAR all over the world, working with local suppliers is a key part of SPAR Zimbabwe’s business model and offering to customers. SPAR Zimbabwe remains firmly committed to local communities and retailers work with local charities and organisations where possible.

Speaking about the growth plans, SPAR Zimbabwe Managing Director Terrence Yeatman said “We are building on the brand’s success from the past 49 years and will continue to offer our valued customers great product choice, every-day low prices, excellent customer service in world-class stores which are deeply rooted in their local communities. The SPAR retailers are able to compete against the national chains by embracing the values of the brand and working together, benefitting their local communities where they are operating. In 2017 we will continue to open new stores, partnering with independent retailers who are keen to benefit from the great brand awareness in our market.”

Contact:

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

Source: Spar International

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 Hungary opens newly renovated store in Budapest

Budapest, Hungary, 2016-Nov-18 — /EPR Retail News/ — The SPAR Supermarket located at Kerepesi út 73. in Budapest has been completely refreshed at an investment of more than 750 million HUF (€2.4 million). The newly renovated store not only boasts fully modernised departments, it also integrates energy saving equipment and solutions.

Speaking at the festive opening on 16 November, which was attended by dignitaries, SPAR Hungary Central Office colleagues and the team working in the renovated store, SPAR International Managing Director, Tobias Wasmuht said: “We congratulate SPAR Hungary on their ongoing development and particularly their innovation in this market.  We continue to be the partner of choice for independent retailers keen to embrace retail best practice and fast-track their development in the face of international competition.”

“This SPAR Supermarket is located in a great area with many consumers desiring high standards of service, quality and breadth of offer. We were convinced of the need to invest in providing a 21st Century look and feel throughout the store,” explained Márk Maczelka, Head of Communications at SPAR Hungary.

The sales area of the 1,760 m2 supermarket was completely renewed and a revised shopper layout was created, improving efficiency and embracing modern branding. Shoppers can enjoy both the new delicatessen counter and exhibition bakery instore. Close to the store entrance is the easy-to-navigate bakery and fruit & vegetable sections, with access to the delicatessen counter. A unique chilled beverage section has also been added, complementing the broad range of SPAR Own Brand products. Health-conscious consumers can enjoy the self-service salad bar, as well as the extended range of salads and sandwiches prepared onsite. A SPAR-to-Go restaurant has been added, where consumers are offered a variety of grilled dishes, freshly made meals and pizzas.

Sustainable features of the supermarket include a curtain wall added to the entire portal surface, providing natural lighting and a good view into the store from the street. Most of the instore equipment has been replaced with energy-efficient solutions. LED lighting has been installed in the retail area, doors added to the refrigeration equipment, and an efficient heat pump heating and cooling system has been implemented.

SPAR Hungary, established 25 years ago, has invested more than €1 billion into the Hungarian retail market. Currently, 345 company owned SPAR Supermarkets, 32 INTERSPAR Hypermarkets and 107 SPAR stores licensed to independent retailers are in operation. There are firm plans in place to continue expanding. In addition to opening new stores, the modernisation of existing stores is a key objective of the company’s development policy. This year, SPAR Hungary will spend more than 23 billion HUF on the modernisation of its retail network. A total of 21 stores have been renovated in 2016, taking into account modern consumer needs.

Contact:

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

Source: Spar International

The first SPAR China Congress kicked off in Weihai

Weihai,China, 2016-Oct-20 — /EPR Retail News/ — The first SPAR China Congress kicks off today (Tuesday 18 October) in Weihai, a beautiful coastal city on the tip of the Shangdong Peninsula. SPAR International Board members, SPAR colleagues from across China, as well as guest speakers and strategic partners have been invited to join the Congress, the most significant event for SPAR China Managing Director, Yoep Man, since taking office in January.

The three-day long Congress is a distinguished gathering of retail experts and senior management from China and abroad. SPAR China Partners will have an opportunity to share best practice from each other and the international SPAR Partners. Also in attendance are Graham O’Connor, Chairman of SPAR International & SPAR South Africa; Peter Blakemore, Chairman of A F Blakemore UK, Tobias Wasmuht, Managing Director of SPAR International, Paul Klotz, Chairman of SPAR Italy and Knut Johansson, Chairman of SPAR Norway. Over 200 delegates representing more than ten nationalities are gathered in this city.

Delegates will visit a number of SPAR stores and the food production centre in Weihai, a great opportunity to see the rapid expansion of formats and instore product offer which is inherent to the market. Since entering China in 2004, SPAR has adhered to the brand philosophy of freshness, choice, value and service, focusing on the development of the SPAR Hypermarket, SPAR Supermarket, SPAR Neighborhood and SPAR Express formats. Great support has been received from many of the SPAR Partners around the world during the development of the strong SPAR operation which has continued to show excellent results year-on-year and is ranked fifth amongst global SPAR Partners in turnover terms (2015 results €1.9 billion). Investment continues in not only retail with today 360 stores trading but also supply chain expansion across all of the regions in which SPAR trades.

“We seek to grow and expand in unity with all our SPAR Partners by sharing our resources and knowledge, ‘Better Together’, just like the theme of the SPAR China Congress. The success of the Congress will help drive the booming growth of our partners and the China retail market,” said Yoep Man.

A SPAR International Board meeting is also taking place this week in Weihai, enabling the Board of Directors to meet with the Partners from SPAR China and see the development of the brand in this high potential market first-hand.

SPAR now has a presence in the provinces of Shandong, Guangdong, Shanxi & Inner Mongolia, Beijing (city), Sichuan, Henan and Hebei. The central office is located in Shanghai.

Contact:

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

Source: Spar International

SPAR announces new partnership with Balfin Group at the opening of its first stores in Albania

Tirana, Albania, 2016-Oct-10 — /EPR Retail News/ — SPAR has officially announced a new partnership with Balfin Group, at the opening of its first stores in Albania. The two largest food stores in the country opened today (OCTOBER 7, 2016) under the INTERSPAR brand –  7,200 m2 in Tirana East Gate (TEG) and 3,800m2 in QTU shopping centre.

Balfin Group is the largest private company operating in Albania. The company entered into food retail in 2005 with the development of the Euromax chain of stores and has been operating 15 large food retail stores (2 Hypermarkets and 13 Supermarkets) under the Carrefour brand.

SPAR Albania as part of Balfin Group will convert its current 15 stores with the development of the two INTERSPAR Hypermarkets to be followed by the conversion of the supermarkets. By the end of 2017, Balfin Group plans to open over 100 supermarkets and 10 hypermarkets, creating the largest retail network in Albania and investing over €50 million in the project.

SPAR International Managing Director, Tobias Wasmuht said “We are delighted to be partnering with Balfin, a leading privately owned Albanian business Group, to develop SPAR Supermarkets and INTERSPAR Hypermarkets in Albania. Working in true co-operation with the Balfin Group, we are able to unite the best of international with the best of local, creating an excellent proposition of value, service, quality and choice for our customers in Albania.”

Speaking about the partnership Julian Mane, the Vice President of Retail at Balfin Group said “We are delighted to be partnering with SPAR. Our multi-million euro investment and ambitious plans for expansion are based firmly on our confidence in the SPAR offering. The expected growth of the Albanian market and our strong distribution and logistics capabilities strengthen the partnership further. We look forward to bringing these modern new store formats, excellent products and great customer service to our customers in Albania.”

Entry into Albania brings to 44 the number of countries where SPAR currently operates and marks SPAR’s second announcement of international expansion in 2016. SPAR International reported global retail sales in 2015 of €33 billion from over 12,100 stores across four continents.

The launch of the SPAR Brand has been complemented with a television campaign, city wide outdoor advertising as well as the launch of the two Hypermarkets and the conversion of some of the existing supermarkets to the SPAR Brand to open this year.

Contact:

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

Source: Spar International