Spar International looks to Russia and China

Spar broke the €1bn sales barrier in China in 2012


Spar International is to focus growth in Russia, China and the Middle East over the next 12 months - after sales in the first two alone topped €1bn apiece last year.

The pledge came as the retailer this week reported a 2.8% increase in global sales to €32bn (£27.3bn).

Spar said its operations in China and Russia had each broken the €1bn sales barrier in 2012 and were now its eighth and ninth-biggest markets.

Sales in its 215 Chinese stores rose to €1.18bn, while its 300 Russian stores saw sales rise to €1.13bn. Its stores in China are bigger than those in other countries at an average 31,690 sq ft.

Speaking at the 58th Spar International Congress, in Killarney, Ireland, this week, Spar International MD Dr Gordon Campbell said the focus was part of a new strategy called ‘Growing Our Future Together’.

“Spar International will continue to work in developing markets with a key focus on Russia, China and the Middle East to expand the partner network,” he 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 principle.”

Campbell also revealed that Spar now has 12,322 stores in 34 countries. This would increase to 36 countries later this year when Spar enters Qatar and Lebanon.

The UK is Spar International’s fourth-biggest market, with sales of €3.2bn from 2,417 stores in 2012. Its biggest, Austria, posted sales of €5.6bn from 1,524 stores.