Global expansion drives SPAR International
The increase was driven by strong growth across Europe as well as continued expansion into new and developing markets.
There was 4.8% growth in SPAR’s traditional European markets with SPAR’s nine Eurozone countries increasing retail sales to €15 billion and SPAR UK recording 8% growth in local currency.
Sales in Central and Eastern Europe were up 6.5% in Euro terms. Sales in Russia rose by 7.7% in local currency.
In addition, there was sustained growth in Africa and the Middle East where the SPAR brand now has a presence in 15 markets.
Addressing delegates at the 62nd International SPAR Congress in Gran Canaria, SPAR International managing director 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.
“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.”
During the year, the SPAR brand launched in new territories such as 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.
There was an increase of 369 stores year-on-year in 2016 to bring the total store number to 12,545 across the world.
Looking ahead, Wasmuht continued: “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.”
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