Spar continues strong growth

Spar proximity store in Glasgow
Photo: Spar International

In its financial year 2019, Spar International achieved a worldwide turnover of 37.1 billion euros (+ 4.35 %). During the corona crisis, the proximity stores proved to be of vital importance.


Outperforming the market

Spar has been experiencing sustained growth since 2015: sales increased by 21.4 % over the past four years, while the store network grew by more than 1,200 locations (+ 208 in 2019). There are now 13,320 Spar stores worldwide in 48 countries on four continents. Last year, the chain launched in two new countries: Kosovo and Armenia. Central and Eastern Europe is one of the most important growth regions for the group, as sales increased by 6.83 %.


In the sixteen Western European markets where Spar is active, sales increased by 3.57 % to 22.9 billion euros, representing 62 % of the group's worldwide sales. One of the best performing markets is the Netherlands, where sales increased by 22.8 % thanks to a smart multi-format expansion strategy. In Austria (+ 23 %) and Spain (+ 8.8 %), the chain also performed very well. Furthermore, Spar is present in Africa and the Middle East (+ 5.26 %) and in Asia (+ 3.04 %).


In many countries, Spar outperforms the market by quite a margin, which CEO Tobias Wasmuh attributes to the Better Together strategy launched by the group in 2015. The fact that the chain operates globally proved to be an advantage during the coronavirus pandemic: the chain was able to closely monitor the impact of the coronavirus from east to west and share best practices with all members. According to the CEO, his chain is well placed to meet the current challenges: proximity stores have proven to be essential lifelines for local communities in recent weeks. Moreover, Spar is also making great progress with its digital presence: the brand is now active in e-commerce in 25 countries.