SPAR International: Europe and Asia in focus

Date : 03 October 2017

We round up the latest news from SPAR across a range of European and Asian markets.

SPAR Austria invests €21.1m in its ‘most modern INTERSPAR shopping centre’

SPAR Austria has begun building its ‘most modern INTERSPAR shopping centre’ in Steyr, investing around €21.1m to do so.

Commenting on the development, Markus Kaser, INTERSPAR Austria Managing Director said, ‘In just over a year, the first customers will experience a new shopping paradise here … We look for a friendly, bright and soothing shopping atmosphere in which one [can] not only purchase delicious food, but also everything for everyday needs’.

…As Veggie food truck goes on tour

In other news, SPAR Austria is sending a vegetarian food truck on tour as it looks to capitalise on the popularity of vegetarian food and raise awareness of its private label range.

The ‘SPAR Veggie’ food truck will stop for the first time in Salzburg today (3rd October) and tomorrow. The truck will offer a range of freshly prepared vegetarian and vegan products. A press release from the retailer said that visitors can expect to enjoy a SPAR Veggie Pitaburger, SPAR Veggie Falafel, SPAR Veggie almond shakes and SPAR Veggie rice desserts.

SPAR Hungary caters to vegans

In related news, in neighbouring Hungary, SPAR Hungary has introduced a range of 67 vegan products from the Veganz brand. Veganz is already stocked in SPAR Austria and SPAR Slovenia, while the range in SPAR Hungary will include products across a range of categories including pastries and sweets, snacks, protein supplements, spreads and sweeteners.

SPAR Norway tackles food waste

Meanwhile, as part of its strategy to reduce food waste by 270 tons a year’, SPAR Norway is ‘offering a 50% discount on all freshly baked bread one hour before closing time’. This follows a trial in August, which lead to a 16% reduction in bread waste. A press release from the retailer also stated that ‘any surplus bread unsold will be given to pig farmers to supplement the food’.

SPAR Norway Marketing Director, Martin Munthe-Kaas said, ‘It has never been more important to take care of the environment and we must all do our bit to help this cause. Food waste is one of the greatest environmental challenges of our time and a study from 2015 states that in Norway, 355,000 tons of food is wasted each year. This number must be reduced and we hope that our new food waste scheme will go some way to helping this happen’.

Several other Nordic retailers have introduced new initiatives this year in a bid to address food waste. Click here to see what other retailers are doing in the region.

SPAR Spain partners with Michelin starred chef

Elsewhere, SPAR Spain has partnered with Michelin starred chef, Ángel Palacios, introducing gourmet takeaway food at its Plaza de la Feria supermarket in Gran Canaria.

The store has been recently refurbished and through its new ‘food market’ concept, aims to offer customers ‘a great variety of daily menus and original culinary recipes, always with the stamp of their gastronomy, which is characterized by redesigning food dishes from Mediterranean cuisine’.

Other improved features of the store include more of a focus on freshly prepared fruit and juices, as well as local produce branded, ‘La Harecha Canaria de SPAR’. The store also offers an improved delicatessen and butcher. Elsewhere, the layout has been improved, while energy efficiency technology has been incorporated.

SPAR Netherlands targets universities

In other news, SPAR Netherlands has opened two new outlets on university campuses in Eindhoven and Delft. The store to open in Eindhoven is the second SPAR store at the Technical University and is located in student accommodation at the centre of the campus. The range includes food for now and food for later, supplementing SPAR’s other store at the campus, which focuses on Grab & Go. More broadly, SPAR operates around ten stores on Dutch university campuses.

A press release from the retailer stated that ‘These SPAR stores focus primarily on meeting the needs of university employees, students and passers-by. They strive to have a no waste policy and promote healthier eating options. Tapping into the e-commerce market, they also offer an online service through the SPAR university app’.

IGD visited the other SPAR University store in Endhoven, where we were impressed with how the retailer is targeting food focused shopper missions. IGD Retail Analysis subscribers can click here to read our exclusive store visit report.

SPAR China appoints new MD

Meanwhile, in Asia, SPAR has appointed Jerome Chevrier as its new Managing Director of China, SPAR's largest Asian market by sales. In 2016, SPAR China grew sales by 6.7% to CNY 14.5bn. Geographically, it has a ‘presence in Shandong, Guangdong, Shanxi and Inner Mongolia, Beijing, Sichuan, Henan, Zhangjiakou and Yunnan’.

Commenting on the appointment, Tobias Wasmuht, Managing Director of SPAR International said, ‘China’s size, scale and economic power means that it is one of the most fast paced and dynamic retail markets in the world. Having established a significant presence in China since 2004, SPAR still sees a great detail of exciting potential for further expansion in the country’.

SPAR India supports ‘Made in India’ campaign

Elsewhere in the region, SPAR India ‘is now in talks with the Government of India over several of its activities linked to its “Make in India” campaign, which encourages national and multi-national companies to manufacture their products in India’.

A press release from the retailer stated that ‘Some key policy interventions of the government include 100% Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in food processing as well as 100% FDI in trading, with regards to food products manufactured or produced in India’.