2015 marked a milestone in the history of SPAR Australia, which now facilitates the operations of 157 SPAR, SPAR Express and 5 STAR branded stores, in addition to supporting many unbannered stores.
The retailer’s 21st year in Australia began with a visit from SPAR International managing director Dr Gordon Campbell (succeeded last month by Tobias Wasmuht), who addressed conferences, attended a SPAR regional meeting, officially relaunched the SPAR Maclean store in northern NSW and presented SPAR Australia Managing Director Lou Jardin with a certificate commemorating the original licence to operate SPAR in Australia, which was granted on June 8,1994.
Using the theme ‘Simply Retail’, SPAR Australia held three rounds of regional meetings in Brisbane, Cairns, Canberra, Coffs Harbour, Dubbo, Emerald, Sydney and Toowoomba, among other centres.
A supplier awards dinner recognised the support of key suppliers and the most successful trade show in SPAR Australia’s history was held on the Gold Coast in August. Prizes including $10,000 worth of groceries, a trip for two to New York for New Year’s Eve, a Pacific island cruise and FitBits for every store were given away to consumers.
SPAR Australia says it has proved that its business values of maintaining regular contact with retailers and supporting them through promotions as well as store-investment programs, such as the SPAR Loyalty Bonus, are critical to the success of the independent network.
The organisation adds that it is committed to continuing to work closely with the retailers and their staff to foster a cooperative and successful relationship, and pleased to have assisted many retailers in progressing on their path of profitability and growth throughout 2015.
In a challenging year for independents, SPAR Australia says it has achieved growth in the majority of stores.
Mr Jardin has been Managing Director of SPAR Australia for more than five years. At the time of his appointment, he vowed to continue to provide competition at the wholesale level, ensuring independent retailers would be able to source deals that allowed them to compete in the market and secure the survival of family businesses in the grocery industry.
SPAR Australia says that, five years on, this philosophy is still the key to its work, and opening or converting 11 new stores in the six weeks leading up to Christmas proved just how successful this mantra has been.
Locally owned and operated, SPAR Australia is part of the worldwide SPAR family. SPAR was founded in the Netherlands in 1932 by Adriaan van Well with the philosophy that independent wholesalers and retailers can achieve more by working together. The group says more than 12,300 SPAR stores in more than 41 countries meet the needs of more than 13 million customers daily.