Spar Appleby Westward


Spar opened 186 new UK stores last year

Spar UK retail sales shot up by 8.5% last year in a record-breaking period of growth for the international brand.

The UK division generated sales of £2.84bn for the 52 weeks ending 31 December 2016, which it attributed to growth in retailer numbers, fresh marketing and a strong focus on food service.

The group added 186 new stores to its UK operation last year, bringing total store numbers to 2,620, and also increased sales per square metre by 4.2%.

“Spar UK is in a fantastic financial position, proving ourselves to be a strong, stable long-term partner to both our retailers and our international colleagues,” said Spar UK MD Debbie Robinson.

“We continue to take a more personal approach with our customers ensuring we have the right products and services. Our experience, knowledge of the market and the consumer sets us apart in times where others are finding the marketplace challenging.”

Spar is now also the largest forecourt retailer in the UK and it reported “significant” growth from its multi-site partners over the past year.

“Our partnership approach and collaborative model provides retail businesses with huge opportunities to grow,” said Robinson.

Parent company Spar International, which has stores in 44 countries, grew retail sales by 4.5% to €33.1bn (£28.4bn) for the same period.

The group cited its expansion into new territories, including Thailand and Albania, as well as growth from existing partnerships in China and Russia, as factors in its success.

Spar International increased store numbers by 369 last year to 12,545 branches worldwide.

The group has more stores scheduled to open in Mongolia, Malta and Sri Lanka this year and plans to add 300 new stores to its Thailand estate over the next five years.

“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,” said Spar International MD Tobias Wasmuht.

“Our 2017 growth pipeline in both new and traditional markets is very encouraging.”