There will be 35 new SPAR outlets opening this year in a bid to gain a profitable share of the market as the Dutch multinational retail conglomerate continues to fend off fierce competition.
During the company’s annual statement, Spar’s CEO, Graham O’Connor, announced that the company has plans to renovate up to 180 of its existing stores and have as many as 45 of its subsidiaries focused on selling alcoholic beverages, Tops, open in Spar stores.
The unrelenting force
In a report released by Business Day South Africa, it confirmed that during the year 2014, Spar had opened 19 new stores, as many as 51 new Tops at its existing Spar outlets and 18 Build It stores. As SPAR is also owns the popular Pack ‘n’ Shop, it aims to continue its expansion plans in 2015.
Due to many factors such as fierce competition from local and overseas brands as well as Africa’s uncertain labour force and limitations in the financial side has made it difficult for SPAR to maintain its business operations. Due to these setbacks, it was not able to reach its target of opening 23 new stores.
Despite these challenges, O’Connor emphasized that “looking forward, the primary focus is retailer profitability, underpinning the long-term economic sustainability of the Spar Group’s business”.
Opportunities are plenty
SPAR had just recently acquired the majority stake in Irish retail group, BWG, and has gained an abundance of opportunities in the UK market due to the BWG’s many marketing channels and distribution points.
O’Connor proves that he is never one to back down from a challenge as he mentions that “as competition in the retail sector intensifies, we continue to focus on aggressively driving new business opportunities, organic growth, stringent cost control and securing operating and supply chain efficiencies,” a statement he gave right after the purchase of the company was finalized.
SPAR already has many achievements under its belt with the successful launches of its brand in Africa’s largest economy, Nigeria along with other key areas like Namibia, Botswana and Swaziland. Naturally this looks promising for SPAR’s continued growth in the country.
However SPAR has constantly found it difficult to maintain its business in Zimbabwe and has described it as “challenging”.