Spar International to open 300 stores in Thailand by 2020 in new partnership deal

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Spar International and Bangchak Retail Company today announced a significant new partnership agreement which will see up to 300 new Spar stores opening in Thailand by the end of 2020, as part of a €102 million investment.

Spar International is the world’s largest food retail voluntary chain with over 12,100 stores worldwide and global retail sales of €33bn in 2015. Spar presence in Asia continues to grow with the brand attracting independent partners.

BCR plan to open 7 new stores during 2016, comprising key flagship convenience and neighbourhood developments. From 2017 the company plans to open 50-80 stores each year for the next five years with up to 2,500 jobs created in the process. BCR’s retail strategy meets customer needs, with strong market growth in the neighbourhood grocery sector in Thailand; the company anticipates retail sales of €260m by 2020.

The partnership with BCR will see Spar share industry expertise with its new partner including the sharing of best practice across its supply chain, retail operations, staff training, retail design and brand development strategy. Spar Thailand is expanding forecourt retailing stores around food purchasing moments and to achieve this initiative Spar International worked with BCR to generate detailed store designs and layouts. Ahead of the opening of the first store, Spar International also supported the formation of the requisite supply chain capability, introduced the Spar culture to the teams in the stores and central office, given advice about equipment suppliers and assisted with secondments to other Spar Partners by key team members to expand their knowledge of the Spar brand.

Speaking at the official announcement of the new partnership Tobias Wasmuht, managing director of Spar International said “In the last decade, Spar International has grown from strength to strength in key strategic markets of Asia. Today, we have a significant multi-format presence including hypermarkets, supermarkets, convenience and online in China, India, and Indonesia. The launch of Spar in Thailand in partnership with BCR represents a significant and important step forward in Spar ’s ongoing expansion into Asian markets. It brings together our internationally tried and tested retail expertise particularly in convenience and supermarket formats with the extensive knowledge of the Thai market. The partnership is a true example of the Spar ethos in which through working together all shall benefit.”

The new venture is being lead on the BCR side by Viboon Wongsakul, managing director of Bangchak Retail Company. Speaking about the partnership Wongsakul said “BCR is excited to bring this new offering to customers in Thailand. Spar and BCR share many key values such as a dedication to growth, a commitment to local suppliers, supporting communities and offering diverse retail solutions. We plan to bring local retailing to the next level and will dedicate the resources necessary to have a significant presence in the market in the shorted possible timeframe.”

As a shared core value, Spar and BCR focus on supporting the communities in which they operate. During the development of the flagship stores in 2016, special focus will be given to the ability to source produce and product locally. Spar International has a process in place for the development of own brand products by a partner and has worked with BCR on the development and launch of a national range of own brand products.