SPAR International: European round up

Date : 11 April 2017

We round up the latest news from Austria, the Netherlands, Hungary and Slovenia.

SPAR Austria extends online grocery to Salzburg…

Following the successful launch of online grocery in Vienna, SPAR Austria is broadening its delivery reach to Salzburg and the surrounding area.

The expansion will allow the retailer to offer an online grocery service to around three million shoppers. Home delivery and click and collect is available, for a fee of between €1 and €4.90, although the fee is waived on orders of €100 or over.
Commenting on the expansion, Markus Kaser, Managing Director said, 'Our goal in Vienna was to gain as much experience as possible and to continue the optimisation of the entire service through customer feedback. We have achieved this goal, as the many positive customer responses about quality, freshness, choice and the trendy design of the online shop prove: Currently, our customer satisfaction rating is above 95%. With the best and most comprehensive online shop in Austria, we are ready to enter additional federal states in Austria'.

…As SPAR Netherlands reveals 3.0 strategy

SPAR Netherlands is working to develop a stronger brand for 2017, with the introduction of its 3.0 strategy, as well as a modern style and slogan for all formats.

The 3.0 strategy aims to meet shopper missions at various times of the day, including breakfast, lunch, meals and drinks, with colour-coordinated signage to reflect this. By the end of 2017, around 80 stores will be converted to the new concept, while SPAR expects to launch 20 city-focused stores in 2017. The new slogan will be ‘you find at SPAR’, instead of ‘my neighbourhood, my SPAR’.

Commenting on the development, commercial director Susanne Kroon said, ‘The market and consumer behaviour is changing and we are responding to these alterations … We make our stores ready for the future’.

...And updates on online & forecourt business

Around 1.5% of turnover comes from online sales in stores that offer a service, while the retailer hopes all stores will offer an online service later this year.

Commenting on the performance in its forecourt format, general manager Sjaak Kranendonk said, 'Revenue trends are really promising. The shops at these stations perform better than before. We therefore have every confidence'.

SPAR Hungary reports 5.2% sales growth in 2016…

SPAR Hungary reported a 5.2% increase in revenue to HUF 516bn (€1.7bn).

During 2016, the retailer spent HUF 20bn (€6.4m) on investment, which focused on the refurbishment of 24 stores and the introduction of four new stores. In 2017, the retailer plans to spend an additional HUF 23bn (€47.4m) on the refurbishment of 24 stores and the introduction of five new stores.

…As it opens new hypermarket

The retailer has also opened a new hypermarket in Pest county, building on a new concept designed by local and international experts.

The store will offer a range of 20,000 products and a SPAR-to-Go restaurant, in addition to a range of new features, including an electric car charging station and mobile charging point. There is also a focus on energy-efficient features, including LED lighting and doors for fridges.

Commenting on the development, Márk Maczelka, Head of Communications at SPAR Hungary said, ‘We have a lot of plans for development in 2017 … It is important to keep modernising and expanding our network of hypermarkets'.

SPAR Slovenia reports 2.4% sales growth in 2016…

SPAR Slovenia reported a 2.4% increase in revenue to €743m. During the year, it opened two supermarkets and eight franchise stores, bringing the total store count to 99.

SPAR Slovenia also focused on local sourcing, with close to 70% of products now being sourced from within Slovenia, Organic private label development was also a priority, with over 800 organic products now available, including over 80 types of organic produce.

…As it extends vegan range

In other news, SPAR Slovenia recently introduced new vegan products from Veganz and Nussy, alongside a dedicated televised and outdoor campaign. To help raise awareness further, the retailer also used a series of ‘popular and trusted influencers’, who provided ‘recipes, tests, videos and photos that were shared on their social media channels and blogs’.

The retailer did so to ‘position SPAR as an organic food and vegan-friendly retailer, showcasing vegan products to shoppers who in principle do not avoid animal products, but seek to vary their menu’.

The use of influencers is rising in popularity; Amazon recently introduced its invite-only Amazon Influencer Program, which has been‘exclusively designed for social media influencers with large followings and a high frequency of posts with shoppable content’.