Spar International has announced that it has reached agreement with two partners to expand Spar retail operations in the Moscow region as part of its continued growth in Russia. The licencing agreements, with Intertorg and Azbuka Vkusa, represent a significant strengthening and extension of existing arrangements between Spar International and the two companies and will result in a total of 45 Spar stores in the Moscow region in the next 12 months.
The announcement was made as Spar Russia confirmed a record year in 2014. Retail sales grew by more than 30% to 74.06bn Rubles – equating to €1.45bn at the annual average exchange rate. The brand added four new partners during the year, bringing to 16 the total number of Spar Partners in Russia, operating 420 stores across more than 300,000 square metres of retail space. In total, 57 new Spar stores opened in Russia in the 12 months to December 2014.
The new licence agreements with Intertorg and Azbuka Vkusa cover the Moscow region and are on a non-exclusive basis and will be founded on Spar’s values of ongoing collaboration and cooperation between partners.
Commenting on the success of Spar in Russia, Gordon Campbell, CEO of Spar International, said: “Over the past 15 years, Spar has a proven record of resonating with Russian shoppers, with the strength of our brand and offering, our global experience and our partnership model proving itself very attractive to potential partners. The results announced today are proof of the increasing popularity of the brand to a point where, taken collectively, the Spar brand now ranks among the top 10 retailers in Russia.”
CEO of SPAR Russia, Sergey Loktev, said: “The agreements with Intertorg and Azbuka Vkusa mark the next phase in the development of Spar in Russia. The non-exclusive licences mean our partners in the Moscow region will work together to maximise the growth of the brand in the city, utilising their deep understanding of the Russian consumer and sharing Spar’s commitment to delivering freshness, value, service and quality.”
Intertorg hold a licence with Spar in the St. Petersburg region and currently operate 56 Spar supermarkets, including two hypermarkets. The company currently operates 38 supermarkets in Moscow which will transition to the Spar brand as part of today’s agreement.
Intertorg’s Spar coordinator, Anton Belovetsky, said: “The signing of this contract with Spar International represents a great opportunity for us to further develop our presence in the Moscow region. We believe that we have the necessary expertise and infrastructure to grow and strengthen Spar’s presence in Moscow. We will deliver excellent service and value for our customers in Moscow region based on our Spar Supermarkets in St. Petersburg region.”
Azbuka Vkusa currently successfully operates eight Spar Supermarkets in the Moscow region. Speaking about the partnership, Vladimir Sadovin, CEO of Azbuka Vkusa, said: “We are committed to the Spar brand and in 2015 extended the license agreement for two years. Spar continues to be a successful brand in this country and an attractive proposition to the Russian customer.”
Spar International established its presence in Russia in 2001. Focusing on freshness and service, Spar International’s supermarket format has proven very successful, leading to the roll-out of the Spar convenience format, Spar Express, and Spar Hypermarket, in 2012.