SPAR, originally DESPAR, is a Dutch multinational franchise that manages independently owned and operated food retail stores. It was founded in the Netherlands in 1932, by Adriaan van Well, and now consists of more than 13,112 stores in 48 countries. The company's name is an acronym of the slogan "Door Eendrachtig Samenwerken Profiteren Allen Regelmatig", which was used by van Well to describe the brand and translates as "Everyone works better together".
Number of locations
(48 countries as of 2017)
|Products||Grocers' shops, convenience shops, discount shops, hypermarkets and more|
Number of employees
|Parent||Groupe Casino |
The name was originally DE SPAR, an acronym of the Dutch phrase Door Eendrachtig Samenwerken Profiteren Allen Regelmatig (English: "through united co-operation everyone regularly profits"). The acronym was chosen in order to resonate with the verb sparen, which (related to English spare) means "save [money]" in Dutch and some other languages, among them German and Scandinavian languages (with variants such as spara or spare). The acronym ended up meaning "the fir", after which the logo was chosen. As the organisation expanded across Europe, the name was abbreviated by dropping the DE prefix. There are some international naming variants:
- In Hungary, 17 stores owned by Spar located at Lukoil filling stations operate under the name Despar.
- In Italy, the name is still Despar, though in keeping with the international branding, the Spar section of the logo is highlighted, and the larger shops are still called Eurospar and Interspar.
- In Austria, Despar is Spar's Italian food shop brand.
Spar was founded in 1932 in the South Holland town of Zegwaart (now Zoetermeer). In 1953 an International Spar office opened in Amsterdam to control and further develop the organisation throughout Europe and other continents. Many Spar shops are in Europe, but they can also be found in a number of countries outside of Europe, such as Oman, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Thailand, Nigeria, South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Swaziland, Mozambique, Seychelles, Sri Lanka, Australia, Mauritius, China, India, Japan (closed 2016), Vanuatu, Greenland and Angola.
A Spar shop may be owned independently, by a franchisee, or be part of a chain, depending on the model applied in any given country. The owners of the parent company vary from country to country and may include the shop owners themselves. The name and the current logo was most recently revised in 1968 by Raymond Loewy and has remained unchanged ever since.
In Ireland the Spar brand is known for neighbourhood shops and also the subformat Eurospar acting as mini-supermarkets.
Spar opened in the Republic of Vanuatu on 1 December 2009, ending Au Bon Marché's grocery monopoly.
Since 1996, the company has been a major sponsor of the European Athletic Association and its events.
In 1997, Spar was introduced to most United Kingdom military bases by the Navy, Army and Air Force Institutes (Naafi), where it sells a variety of civilian and military products.
The Dutch Spar is a member of Superunie, an inventory purchasing organization for a number of otherwise unaffiliated supermarket brands.
In July 2014 Spar Group South Africa opened its first supermarket in Angola but no expansion of the brand is planned for this market. In August 2014 the group acquired 80% of the BWG Group, which had outlets in Ireland and southwest England.
In 2015 Ahold acquired all 35 hypermarkets and 14 supermarkets from Spar,Czech for more than 5.2 billion Czech koruna. and converted them into Albert super- and hypermarkets, however it had to get rid of some shops in order not to have a monopoly.
The first SPAR shop in Oman was inaugurated in January 2015 in Muscat. Spar Oman plans to open more shops in the coming months as part of its expansion plans in Oman. Spar opened its first store in Qatar in 2017, with the second store opening in 2018. A further two stores are planned for 2018.
In 2017 Ceylon Biscuits Limited in Sri Lanka acquired a license to operate Spar brand in Sri Lanka as Spar Lanka. This is a joint venture of Ceylon Biscuits Limited and SPAR Group Ltd South Africa. They opened the first store in Thalawathugoda, Colombo. The future plan is to open 50 outlets in the country by 2023.
KwikSPAR (only found in South Africa) are a smaller quick stop shop for convenience. They are larger than the conventional SPAR Express but smaller than the normal SPAR. These store tend to have extended trading hours, some even being 24hr convenience stores.
- Spar Express
This is the smallest type of shop. They are designed for small sites and filling station forecourts, airports and train stations.
- Spar Drive-Thru
There was a drive-through Spar on the Cliftonville Road in Belfast, Northern Ireland. This has now been converted to a Centra shop, and retained the drive-through for a while afterhand, but now no longer has one.
- Spar Gourmet
Some small Spar shops in Austria are called Spar Gourmet, since the Austrian Spar Group took over the supermarket chains Julius Meinl in 2000. The standard range is extended to local and global delicacies.
International statistics (2017)
|Country||Sales (in millions)||No. of shops||Sales area (m²)||Sales per area||Average shop
|Angola||1||2014||The SPAR Group Ltd.|
|Austria||€6,700.0||1,556||1,178,429||€5,686/m²||757||1954||Spar Austria Group|
|Belarus||3||2017||Almi Group's Unifood CJSC|
|Belgium||€998.2||320||155,408||€6,423/m²||486||1947||Colruyt and Lambrechts|
|Botswana||€161.1||30||3,092||€5,209/m²||1,031||2004||The SPAR Group Ltd.|
|Croatia||€596.7||104||142,385||€4,191/m²||1,38))(2||2004||Spar Austria Group|
|Hungary||€1,817.3||519||416,079||€4,368/m²||802||1992||SPAR Austria Group|
|Indonesia||€45.6||23||42,276||€1,078/m²||1,838||2015||Ramayana Lestari Sentosa|
|Italy||€3,375.7||1,218||738,890||€4,569/m²||607||1959||SPAR Austria Group|
|Kosovo||3||2019||SPAR Kosova J.S.C.|
|Mozambique||€40.1||9||10,241||€3,915/m²||1,138||2012||The SPAR Group Ltd.|
|Namibia||€160.9||29||31,967||€5,034/m²||1,102||2004||The SPAR Group Ltd.|
|Netherlands||€471.9||261||94,547||€4,991/m²||362||1932||SPAR Holding B.V.|
|Qatar||3||8,530||2015||Al Wataniya International Holding|
|Saudi Arabia||4||2016||SPAR Saudi Arabia|
|Slovenia||€783.9||121||161,316||€4,859/m²||1,403||1992||SPAR Austria Group|
|South Africa||€4,836.2||839||976,197||€4,954/m²||1,164||1963||The SPAR Group Ltd.|
|Sri Lanka||3||2017||Ceylon Biscuits Limited & SPAR SA|
|Switzerland||€515.0||183||70,469||€7,309/m²||385||1989||SPAR Handels AG|
|United Arab Emirates||€130.8||25||23,714||€5,515/m²||949||2011||SPAR United Arab Emirates|
|United Kingdom||€3,236.9||2,620||384,094||€8,427/m²||147||1959||SPAR UK|
|Zimbabwe||€115.7||35||26,011||€4,447/m²||743||1969||Originally SPAR Rhodesia now SPAR Zimbabwe|
|New Caledonia||€920.16||16||16,067||€16,621/m||16||2001||SPAR New Caledonia|
|The Bahamas||5||1999||SRAR Bahamas|
|Central African Republic||1991||SPAR Central African Republic|
- Dutch pronunciation: [doːr eːnˈdrɑxtɪx ˈsaːmə(n)ʋɛrkə(n) proːfiˈteːrə(n) ˈɑlə(n) reːɣəlˈmaːtəx]
- "About us". SPAR International. Retrieved 13 September 2018.
- "Spar boss brings in Subway and Greggs to snatch grocery spend from retail giants". Telegraph. Retrieved 14 January 2019.
- "History". SPAR International. Retrieved 13 September 2018.
- "2017 Review". SPAR International. Retrieved 13 September 2018.
- "Englisch-Deutsch Wörterbuch". LEO. Retrieved 1 March 2015.
- "DESPAR" (in Hungarian). Lukoil Magyarország. Retrieved 8 March 2019.
- "DESPAR" (in German). SPAR Österreich. Retrieved 7 March 2015.
- "SPAR Australia opens first Vanuatu shop: AUS". Wayback Machine. Archived from the original on 2 April 2012. Retrieved 10 January 2016.
- "SPAR". Raymond Loewy Foundation. Retrieved 1 October 2013.
- "Athletics, Sprints & Sports Days". SPAR. Wayback Machine. Archived from the original on 9 October 2009. Retrieved 10 January 2016.
- "Naafi allies with Spar". The Grocer. 22 March 1997.
Naafi has chosen Spar as its retail partner to convert its 200 UK shops into a "world class operation for the next millennium". The contract, worth nearly £500 million over the next five years, was awarded after extensive trials with Costcutter and Londis.
- Mark Allix (12 August 2014). "Spar buys stake in Irish supermarkets". BusinessLIVE. Archived from the original on 26 October 2014. Retrieved 25 February 2015.
- "SPAR odchází z českého trhu, z padesáti prodejen budou Alberty". iDNES.cz. 11 March 2014. Retrieved 30 July 2016.
- Aguilar, Joey (2 April 2018). "Spar's flagship store opens at Tawar Mall". Gulf Times.
- "SPAR Sri Lanka". Retrieved 31 May 2018.
- "* Spar continues expansion with entry into Sri Lanka". Retrieved 31 May 2018.
- Eric Pfanner (12 November 2004). "An international grocery giant is emerging from the shadows". The New York Times. Retrieved 25 February 2015.
- "Shop formats". Spar International. Retrieved 26 February 2017.
- Ians (28 January 2011). "SPAR to open 24 more hypermarkets in next two years". Sify. Retrieved 1 October 2013.
- Sedlák, Lubomír (3 February 2011). "CZECH: Spar looks to expand supermarket chain". just-food. Retrieved 1 October 2013.
- "Shop formats". Spar South Africa. Retrieved 26 February 2017.
- "Inquiry into Town Centre Regeneration". Northern Ireland Assembly Archive Site. 20 October 2009. Retrieved 1 October 2013.
- "Chronologie: Von Konsum bis Rewe". Derstandard.at. 24 February 2008. Retrieved 1 October 2013.
- "Spar Annual Report 2017" (PDF). SPAR International. Spar International. 7 May 2018. Archived (PDF) from the original on 24 September 2018. Retrieved 24 September 2018.
- globalvanet.com. "Balfin Group brings Spar International to Albania". Europaproperty.com - Balfin Group brings Spar International to Albania. Retrieved 24 September 2018.
- "ASPIAG Countries". ASPIAG Austria SPAR International. Retrieved 9 April 2016.
- "SPAR continues global expansion with entry into Pakistan". SPAR International. Retrieved 12 June 2019.