Spar Europe

Spar is preparing for a major move into Cyprus after securing a partnership deal with one of the country’s largest retail groups.

Via a newly founded trading group, Spar Cyprus, the retailer and wholesaler will press ahead with ambitious plans to open company-owned stores and subsume existing independent retailers into the business.

Spar Cyprus has been founded after a deal was reached with Ermes Department Stores, part of the Cyprus Trading Corporation, marking the start of a widespread expansion into both the retail and wholesale markets.

Spar Cyprus will look to roll out about 20 stores over five years, with the first store due in 2018. These will be a combination of company-owned outlets opened by Spar and independent businesses converted to the Spar fascia.

The company will provide branding and training to new store staff and to independent businesses that join the group, backed up by Ermes’ existing supply chain infrastructure and local experience.

Spar International managing director Tobias Wasmuht said: “Unifying together as Spar Cyprus permits the progressive independent retailers of Cyprus to maintain their independence, whilst seizing the benefits of a strong international food retail brand with the scale benefits of a buying group operating on both a national and international level. We are delighted to partner with the Ermes Group to bring Spar to Cyprus and are confident in the future success of our partnership.”

Ermes currently operates a raft of retail business across a number of sectors, including some stores in Greece. The group manages 90 stores across both countries, for brands including Diesel, Oasis, Warehouse and Debenhams.