Spar International, the world’s largest voluntary retail chain, has today announced global retail sales for the year ending December 31, 2014 of €31.9bn, with sales driven by entry into 10 new territories. This includes five new countries in Asia, Africa and Eastern Europe in addition to new regions in Russia and China.
The results, which represent a like-for-like sales increase of 1.2% on 2013, were announced at the 60th International Spar Congress taking place this week in Vienna, Austria where the organisation also announced that, following 22 years of leading Spar International, Gordon Campbell will step down as managing director at the end of the year.
This year’s Congress is being attended by over 250 Spar Partners representing 40 countries around the world.
Campbell said: “2014 was a breakthrough year for Spar with entry into five new countries in Asia, Africa and Eastern Europe. Our continued focus on growth in new markets while consolidating the strength of the brand in our more established, core markets continues to pay dividends. Spar now has a proven record of resonating with customers worldwide with the strength of our brand and offering, our global retail experience and our partnership model continuing to prove itself the brand of choice to potential partners across the world.”
In total, Spar entered 10 new territories in 2014, opening stores in Asia (Indonesia and India), Africa (Angola and Malawi), Eastern Europe (Georgia), as well as adding new partners in Russia and China.
Campbell said: “Our entry into Indonesia and India in 2014 has introduced Spar to two very dynamic emerging markets which, along with our presence in China and Japan, provide a very strong foundation for further growth in South East Asia into the future. Opening stores in Angola and Malawi, bringing Spar operations to 10 sub-Saharan African countries, represented another milestone and is evidence of the significant potential for the brand across the continent.”
Performance highlights for 2014 included:
- The growth of Spar in China accelerated in 2014 with retail sales of €1.78bn up 25% year on year
- Growth accelerated in Russia increasing 33% in local currency terms to 7bn roubles
- Spar Austria, the largest Spar country, saw retail sales increase by 1.9% to €5.91bn
- Spar South Africa continued its excellent growth path in 2014 with a 7.8% increase in sales in local currency
- In 2014, Spar was the fastest growing supermarket chain in Norway with a sales increase of 5.8% in own currency
Campbell said: “Spar is positioned for sustained expansion in 2015. The strong performance in core Spar countries such as Austria, South Africa and the United Kingdom combined with the impressive growth in retail sales in Russia and China, give confidence in the continued growth and expansion of the Spar business. Despite what remains a challenging operating environment for many of our partners we can be confident that the momentum will be maintained in 2015 and beyond.”
Spar International has also announced that Campbell, who has served as managing director of Spar International since 1994, will step down in December of this year. Over his 22 years in the role, Campbell has been responsible for the worldwide expansion of the Spar organisation and the adaptation of best international practice in retail formats and supply chain implementation.
Praising his contribution to the organisation, chairman of Spar International, Leo Crawford, said: “Over the last two decades, Gordon has made an extraordinary contribution to Spar International and is a pioneer in the world of global retail. His commitment and leadership has seen Spar undergo exceptional growth and expansion. On behalf of the International Spar board, Spar Partners and everyone who works for Spar, I wish to sincerely thank him for his leadership.”
Tobias Wasmuht, managing director Spar China and head of marketing and retail Spar International has been appointed to succeed Campbell as the next managing director of Spar International and will take up his position in January 2016.
Spar International’s multi-format strategy sees its Partners operate over 12,300 hypermarket, supermarket, neighbourhood and convenience stores serving the needs of 13 million customers daily.