Spar is to grow its brand in China after signing a deal with Yunnan Anning Jinfang Commercial Group (Jinfang).
The new partnership means Jinfang will grow the Spar brand in south east China.
Jinfang will convert 32 of its existing stores to the brand in the coming months. The 2,550 employees currently working in its hypermarkets, supermarkets and convenience stores will all be able to access the retail training academy of Spar China.
During 2016, sales for Spar grew by 6.7% to ¥14.5bn (£1.6bn). Store numbers increased by 14% to 395 and it added 43,918 sq m of selling area. This means China now has 14% of the total selling area for Spar worldwide.
In December, Jiajiayue Group, which was Spar’s first Chinese retail partner, launched an initial public offering (IPO) on the Shanghai Stock Exchange. The funds raised will be used to strengthen and develop the business by investing in technology and the supply chain infrastructure.
Spar China now has partners to expand the brand in Shandong, Guangdong, Shanxi & Inner Mongolia, Beijing, Sichuan, Henan, Zhangjiakou and Yunnan.
The growth in China has been driven by investment in a multichannel supply chain, the development of hypermarkets, convenience stores launched in urban centres and a strategic emphasis on fresh food.
“Since entering into China in 2004, Spar has worked closely with partners to accelerate the growth of their food retail business through our standardisation methods, latest store design, modern supply chain expertise and improved shopping experience,” said Tobias Wasmuht, managing director of Spar International. “The partnership with Jinfang represents a further, exciting development in the growth of Spar in China.”
Li Jia, chairman of the board of Yunnan Jinfang Group, said: “In order to serve customers in the south east of China better, we plan to bring high operation standards, efficient logistics and a modern supply chain to build diverse retail solutions.”