SPAR International has reported worldwide retail sales up 2.8% in 2012, and revealed its new strategy: "Growing our future together."
International expansion has always been a strategic goal
SPAR's new strategy builds on its long-term objectives. It sets out the strategic objectives for 2013-2015 under three broad headings:
- Growing our partners - Developing a multi-format presence has always been at the forefront of SPAR's strategy and now, the introduction of mobile and online retail solutions is a priority. In terms of products, the private label range of International SPAR brands will be expanded from 350 to 500 products
- Growing our presence - Gordon Campbell, SPAR International MD, said: We seek to work with local partners who have the vision and capability of providing modern food retailing in their local market and who subscribe to the SPAR retailing principles."
The main target is to extend the network in the key developing markets of Russia and China, and to re-enter India with new partners. SPAR will seek other opportunities for growth in these markets via sub-licencing agreements and promotion of independent retailers. SPAR will have retail operations in 36 countries by the end of 2013, when it opens in Qatar and Lebanon
- Growing our brand - SPAR will protect its brand and develop international recognition and reputation via activities such as sports sponsorship, CSR, and sustainability initiatives
Highlights of 2012
In the context of continued financial difficulties in many SPAR countries, the group selected the following highlights of the year:
- SPAR China and SPAR Russia both broke the €1bn sales barrier, with new partners recruited and growth in store numbers. These markets are now in SPAR's top ten countries by retail sales, and SPAR aims to move them into the top five by 2015
- Sales up 3.2% at SPAR Austria, the group's largest country, where three new hypermarkets were opened and 100 stores were upgraded and extended
- South Africa, the second-largest market, saw sales growth of 10.6% in rand terms
- In Norway, sales were up 9% and in Spain, 170 new stores in Murcia and Cataluña helped towards a sales increase of 8.3%
Outlook for 2013: good growth expected to continue
In the annual report, Gordon Campbell said: "The economic crisis in Europe continues to reduce disposable income and undermine consumer confidence, although consumer spending patterns have shown some slight improvement at the beginning of 2013. It is expected that trading conditions will remain tough throughout the year. SPAR has achieved good growth in retail sales throughout the economic crisis and it is anticipated that this will continue in 2013."
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