CHRIS GILMOUR: Clever offshore acquisitions give Spar a boost
Its ‘voluntary trading model’ allows franchisees to access its various brands and support structures, but also affords them the freedom to stock their stores from any supplier of their choosing
When Spar Group decided to venture into the developed countries of Ireland, England’s south-east, and Switzerland some years ago, it was heavily criticised by analysts and media. However, this offshore move has undoubtedly brought a much-needed addition to Spar’s local SA operations, and solid results for the year to end-September have largely vindicated management’s decision.
Spar Group is part of an association of global retailers called Spar International, headquartered in Amsterdam, which confers upon its members the right to trade in certain geographical areas in exchange for a fee. This global organisation is represented in 48 countries, operating out of 246 distribution centres and 13,100 stores. It has a combined turnover of €35.8bn (R587bn).