Spar continues European expansion with entry into Malta

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SPAR International has announced its entry into the Maltese retail market. Partnering with Malta’s leading FMCG company the Azzopardi Group, SPAR Malta will be part of SPAR International, the world’s largest food retail chain with over 12,777 stores in 48 countries and overall sales of up to €34.5 billion.

The first store in Malta, a SPAR Supermarket, opened on 12 June in Marsaxlokk in the south-east of the country. The launch was marked with a ceremony where the store’s opening was warmly welcomed by the town’s Mayor, residents of Marsaxlokk and the media. The newly refurbished 340 m2 store offers customers the new SPAR Bakery Concept, a delicatessen, a large range of fresh produce, a coffee offering, freshly packed fish and meats, as well as a large selection of SPAR Own Brand products.

The second SPAR Malta store, Tigne, is set to open at the end of June in the town of Sliema, in the centre of the island. Plans are in place to open three subsequent stores before the end of 2018, with the aim of opening a total of 23 stores by 2025, including two INTERSPAR Hypermarkets, four large-format SPAR Supermarkets, and 17 SPAR neighbourhood stores. Beyond the consistent tourist population, Malta is home to a well-established international resident population. The different SPAR Malta store formats will cater to the diverse needs of both the resident and tourist populations throughout the country.

SPAR International will support the Azzopardi Group with store design and layout plans, employee training and development, sourcing own brand products from international and regional partners.

Entry into Malta demonstrates SPAR’s ongoing expansion in the Southern European region. Neighbouring the strong SPAR presence in Italy, with over 1,210 stores, and the burgeoning markets of Greece and Cyprus, SPAR Malta will consistently deliver high-quality SPAR Own Brand products along with fresh local produce to the new Maltese retail market.

Tobias Wasmuht, managing director, SPAR International said: “I am delighted SPAR is partnering with the Azzopardi Group in Malta. In addition to having strong retail and distribution expertise and deep knowledge of the market, the Azzopardi Group also shares our SPAR values with a dedication to fresh produce, value and excellent customer service.”

Wasmuht also noted “With a significant international and tourist population which is already familiar with SPAR, Malta is a great market for SPAR to develop. This launch marks another significant milestone for SPAR strengthening our operations in Southern Europe and in the Eurozone aligned with our expansion strategy.”

Speaking about the launch,Joseph Azzopardi, managing director of the Azzopardi Group said “We are proud and excited to be partnering with such a well-known and respected organisation as SPAR International. SPAR’s global presence and high standards in retail best practice will complement the Azzopardi Group’s local expertise in the Maltese retail market. Together we will offer customers high-quality produce and a superior retail experience, as well as job opportunities and growth of the local retail market.”

The Azzopardi Group was founded by two brothers in 1980. The Group works across a number of sectors in Malta including food import and distribution, food retail, aquaculture and property development. The company currently operates 25 stores on the Maltese Islands with a turnover of €25 million. Its strong local knowledge in infrastructure, warehousing, logistics and retail capabilities will help it effectively develop SPAR in the Maltese market. The Azzopardi Group is also a corporate leader in local social responsibility activities, involved in charitable partnerships and community initiatives throughout the country.