Spar International, the world’s largest voluntary retail chain, has today announced the appointment of Wouter Lefevere as head of international buying.
Based in the organization’s international head office in Amsterdam, Lefevere will take on key buying responsibilities including supplier relationships and negotiations, working in close co-operation with SPAR partners worldwide to build on the brand’s growing international scale and presence.
Spar, which has 12,545 stores in 44 countries, recently reported sales of €33.1bn for 2016.
Lefevere joins Spar with a wealth of international buying experience, having held a number of senior buying and commercial development roles for LIDL in France, Belgium and the Netherlands.
Welcoming Lefevere, Tobias Wasmuht, managing director of Spar International, said: “Buying better together internationally is a key pillar of the scope of services provided to our partners, and the appointment of Wouter signals our intention to further enhance this scope. Today we collaborate with our supplier partners on behalf of our Spar partners in 44 countries across four continents. As a result we have a uniquely strong global network which, not only allows us to source better by leveraging our international scale, but also to provide extensive market access opportunities for our international suppliers.”
Lefevere will be responsible for delivering on Spar’s recently launched Buying Better Together strategy, leading a team which will focus on collaboratively working with partners and suppliers in the areas of own brand development, warehouse & logistics, supplier partnerships and analysis & marketing.
Wasmuht continued: “As a partnership of independent retailers and wholesalers, Spar International doesn’t adopt a traditional transactional supplier-buyer relationship with our Spar partners but takes a collaborative approach. We offer resources and buying services to our partners to help them grow their business. Wouter and his team will work to grow joint buying volumes of Spar partners and the penetration of Spar International own brands, as well as facilitate the pooling of buying volumes of FMCG brands.”
Spar International works with Partners to develop supply chain, retail operations, staff training, retail design and brand development strategies, while its multi-format strategy sees its Partners operate hypermarket, supermarket, neighbourhood, convenience and online stores, now serving the needs of 13 million customers daily.