Retailer Spar is a quite unlike Pick n Pay and Shoprite in a couple of ways. First, it does not own most of the stores carrying the Spar banner, and instead distributes products to them from its network of warehouses around the country. In comparison, Pick n Pay and Shoprite own most of their stores and those that aren’t owned are franchised. Second, Spar has not done much to go north into the rest of Africa, preferring to find growth in northern Europe. Research analysts initially criticised that brave move in Europe, but the strategy is proving increasingly successful. Ireland, especially, has provided Spar with robust sales and profit growth, and the more recent Swiss acquisition is turning around slowly but surely. For the year ended September 30 2018, Spar supplied 2, 236 stores in SA, 1,371 stores in Ireland and 315 stores in Switzerland. There is now a growing foreign currency stream, with 32% of turnover offshore, comprising 22% from Ireland and 10% from Switzerland. Group t...

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