Irish golden girls launch SPAR Great Ireland Run 2013
- European Cross Country Champion Fionnuala Britton launches Ireland’s biggest mixed 10k running event with team mates Linda Byrne, Ava Hutchinson and Lizzie Lee
- Ireland’s gold medal winning team will run in the Phoenix Park on Sunday April 14th
- 12,000 adults and children expected for great family running day out
The SPAR Great Ireland Run 2013 - on Sunday April 14th in the Phoenix Park, Dublin - was launched by Ireland’s European Cross Country champion Fionnuala Britton and her team gold medal winning colleagues Linda Byrne, Ava Hutchinson and Lizzie Lee in Dublin today.
Britton has committed to lead the women’s field in the Run where she finished seventh in 2011. “I just love the Phoenix Park,” she said. “There is no place better in Europe to run and the buzz around the SPAR Great Ireland Run is incredible. Each year it gets bigger and better with more and more kids in their own races; and then runners, joggers and walkers of all abilities start in a top class international race to aim for their own personal best.”
This year’s Run will be all about enjoying a family running day out. It will begin with a SPAR Mini Run for 5 to 8 year olds over a lap of a mile and an adult can run/walk alongside each child if they wish. After the Mini Run comes the SPAR Junior Run for 9 to 15 year olds over a longer distance of 2.5k.
The day is topped off by the 10k which covers a scenic single lap of the Phoenix Park in its springtime glory. The Run will again be shown live on RTE Television.
The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), the world governing body of athletics has conferred an IAAF Silver Road Race Label on the SPAR Great Ireland Run, in recognition of the event’s high standard of organisation, elite participation and media profile. This is the only Irish event recognised in this way by the IAAF.
Last year’s event was won in a stunning course record time of 27 minutes 49 seconds by multiple Olympic gold medallist Kenenisa Bekele of Ethiopia. The women’s champion was Gemma Steel of Great Britain in 32 minutes and 6 seconds. Once again a superb field of international and national distance runners will compete on the day, led by Ireland’s European Women’s Cross Country Championship winning team.
The 2013 Run will include the Irish 10k road championships and will feature most of Ireland’s top distance runners. To further incentivise elite Irish athletes and raise the standard of 10k running in the country, a prize fund is being put in place for the first ten Irish men and women.
Participants are encouraged to raise funds for good causes and the Run’s nominated charities are SPAR’s charity partner, the 3Ts (Turn the Tide of Suicide) and the Jack & Jill Children’s Foundation. The Baby Max Wings of Love Fund is the nominated charity for the SPAR Junior Run and Mini Run.
The SPAR Great Ireland Run is an integral part of The Gathering Ireland 2013 and included in its promotional programmes. Runners from all over the world are being encouraged to come to Dublin for the weekend and take in the event. Almost 600 runners from the UK have already entered.
Entrants are asked to identify a preferred county on their entry form and before the event will receive a customised number in their chosen county colours. Every finisher will receive a technical event T shirt, medal, goody bag and chip timed results.
The 2013 event will feature an All Ireland County Challenge competition for the Ronnie Delany Trophy. Using chip finishing time technology the county with the most finishers in a particular time frame are recorded and declared the winner.
>Willie O’Byrne, Managing Director of BWG Foods (operators of the SPAR brand) said:
“We are delighted to be the title sponsor of the SPAR Great Ireland Run once again, as part of SPAR’s ongoing commitment to supporting athletics in Ireland. This year SPAR Ireland celebrates its 50th anniversary so it is a very special occasion for us. We are planning to mark our anniversary at the event with prizes for runners including the 50th person to register for the race; and the 50th runner over the finish line in each of the three races. We hope this year we will see record numbers of entrants in all categories.”
Entries for all events are available at www.greatirelandrun.org
ShelfLife Industry Awards Announcement
Tobin’s SPAR Express in Letterkenny Co Donegal has been named as Ireland’s top Convenience Store by industry magazine ShelfLife at an Awards Ceremony in Dublin on November 28th 2012.
Owned and run by Eddie and Annette Tobin, the store on The Port Road in Letterkenny was originally opened by Eddie’s father Pat, back in 1980 when it consisted of just two pumps and a kiosk. Today it is a 3,000sq ft, pristine example of the best in convenience retailing, incorporating a first rate store and forecourt, a 50 seat diner and ample free parking. 32 people are employed by the business. Over the last 10 years close to 2 million Euros has been invested back into the store by the Tobin family.
The ShelfLife Awards, now in its 12th year was set up to acknowledge stores and individuals that set the standards for the industry.
Full List of SPAR Winners at the ShelfLife C-Store Awards 2012
Supreme Award National Convenience Store of the Year 2012
Tobin’s SPAR Express, Port Road, Letterkenny, Co Donegal
National Award for Stores Less than 2 000 sq. ft.
Gold Winner - Tobin’s SPAR/Topaz Letterkenny Co Donegal
National Award for Stores 2 000 to 4 000 sq. ft.
Bronze Winner - Mullen’s SPAR Express, Bundoran Road, Sligo
Silver Winner – SPAR, Parkwest, Dublin
Gold Winner – SPAR, Castleforbes, Dublin
National Award for Stores 4 000 to 8 000 sq. ft.
Bronze Winner - Rushe’s SPAR Stillorgan Co Dublin
Forecourt Retailer of the Year
Silver Category Winner - Mullen’s SPAR Express, Bundoran Road, Sligo
Gold Category Winner – SPAR Express, Junction 14, Mayfield Monasterevin, Co Kildare
National Lottery Retail Store 2012
Bronze Category Winner – Rushe’s Spar Stillorgan Co Dublin
Best News Department 2012
Silver Category Winner – Rushe’s SPAR Stillorgan Co Dublin
Fionnuala Britton (Kilcoole AC) successfully retained her European Cross Country title in Budapest on Sunday 9th of December. On a momentous day for Irish athletics Britton led the senior women to team gold, the team comprised of Linda Byrne (Dundrum South Dublin AC), Ava Hutchinson (Dundrum South Dublin AC), Lizzie Lee (Leevale AC) Sarah Louise Treacy (Moynalvey AC) and Sarah McCormack (Clonliffe Harriers AC).
Britton has been in excellent form this autumn and she confirmed it at the 19th SPAR European Cross Country Championships over the course in Skanzen. She put on a tremendous display of tenacious front running as she romped to a two second victory over Dulce Felix of Portugal. The diminutive Wicklow women was to the fore of the field from the outset and pushed the pace ferociously throughout. With two kilometres to go the race was between Britton and Belgium’s Almensch Belete.
However both Felix and Adrianne Herzog of the Netherlands were starting to make an impression on the leaders. Britton lifted her game once again and propelled herself over the finishing line to take the title in a time of 27:45, ahead of second place Felix 27:47 with Herzog rounding out the top three in third.
Linda Byrne was having the race of her life as she stormed to an eight place finish and was followed home by Ava Hutchinson in 20th, Lizzie Lee in 23rd, Sarah McCormack in 36th and Sarah Louise Treacy in 42nd. The team combined brilliantly to claim the team gold medals with a score of 52 points. Coincidentally the Irish
High Performance Director Kevin Ankrom said “We had planned to go for a medal as a team, to get the gold is amazing. I am very proud of all the girls and the support we were able to give them. The credit must go to the athletes and the coaches and we are just glad that we can be a part of it and support it.”
CEO of Athletics Ireland John Foley said “What a wonderful day, the individual victory by Fionnuala and the way she ran from the front is unbelievable and the team performance capped it all off, we are all very proud. It is a team effort and credit to Teresa McDaid, Kevin Ankrom and everybody involved in the team management. The most encouraging part of all of this is that we believe this team can go from strength to strength and produce similar results in 2013 and beyond.”
FORECOURT RETAILERS PROVE THEIR WORTH AT IFCR AWARDS 2012
Ireland’s Forecourt & Convenience Retailer Awards (IFCR) 2012 were a huge success last Friday night and proved just why the country’s forecourt and convenience retailers are vital to the Irish economy.
The country’s only specialist awards ceremony for the forecourt retailing industry and backed by Ireland’s Forecourt & Convenience Retailer magazine, the seventh IFCR Awards were attended by more than 300 industry professionals who saw Ireland’s leading retailers vying for prestigious industry accolades.
Sponsored by PostPoint and held at Dublin’s Shelbourne Hotel, the IFCR Awards were hosted by TV3 star Sinead Desmond and saw Junction 14 Mayfield Service Station, Co Kildare, crowned king of the forecourts.
Just over 12 months since opening, the state-of-the-art Monasterevin service station, just off the M7, scooped the Newcomer of the Year accolade and then went on to beat 44 other finalists to win the biggest all-Ireland award in the industry – the coveted Forecourt Retailer of the Year title.
Independently judged by Spotcheck, there were 14 hotly contested categories, including the inaugural Store Manager of the Year category which was awarded to Pat O’Neill of N4 Mace Ballinalack.
Speaking after winning the Forecourt Retailer of the Year award, Donal Fitzpatrick, co-owner of Junction 14 Mayfield said: “Winning the Forecourt Retailer of the Year award after just 14 months trading at Junction 14 Mayfield is a great honour for all of us involved. We put eight years of planning into ensuring that our Motorway Service Area is a unique and innovative offering for Irish motorists and the fact that this has been acknowledged as the best in the business means a huge amount to our team.”
Donal continued: “It is through the hard work and determination of manager Gavin Moran, his assistant manager Maria Irwin, and their team that this award has been achieved. It is not without pride for Liam Fitzpatrick and myself that our vision for motorway services in Ireland has been recognised and also has been so successful.”
He concluded: “Our brand partners on this site have had a hugely positive influence on the success too: Texaco, SPAR, Insomnia and Supermacs. Without their support this would not have been possible. Finally of course, thanks to our many satisfied customers who have supported us wholeheartedly since we opened in June 2011.”
Commenting on the success of the awards, Bill Penton, IFCR publisher said: “We are delighted that we had more that 450 entries this year and the quality of entries just gets better and better.”
He added: “The IFCR Awards are a showcase of Ireland’s best forecourt and convenience retailers providing a pivotal industry event that rewards excellence in retailing.”
Commenting on the awards, Barry Dignam, head of sales and marketing, PostPoint, platinum awards sponsor said: “PostPoint, a wholly-owned subsidiary of An Post, is proud to sponsor Ireland’s Forecourt & Convenience Retailer Awards 2012.
“As the electronic service provider of choice for over 2,400 stores nationwide, we are constantly working with An Post to develop new products and services that make life easier for Irish forecourt retailers and their customers.”
He added: “We would like to thank the forecourt retailers for their loyalty to PostPoint and hope to continue our relationships in the spirit of partnership.”
Byrne’s SPAR Stores in Oak Park and Monavalley Tralee Leap to the forefront of New Innovative Rewards Programme
• SPAR customers in Tralee are the first in the country to access new dual pricing rewards system
18 September, 2012 – Byrne’s SPAR stores in Oak Park and Monavalley are the first SPAR stores in the country to begin offering customers a brand new rewards programme My SPAR Rewards Club, with those signing up paying less on certain products as part of a dual-pricing rewards system, the first of its kind in Ireland. The launch took place today in-store at SPAR Oak Park and SPAR Monavalley and also at the IT Tralee student market day, highlighting the lack of age restrictions associated with the innovative programme.
My SPAR Rewards Club is based on instant rewards and no minimum age criteria - also firsts in the food retail sector in Ireland – and shoppers can expect to save as much as 50 percent on dual-priced products spanning all categories, from deli to fresh foods, in addition to regular promotions and discount offers.
Malachy Hanberry, Sales & Retail Advisory Services Director, BWG Foods (owners and operators of the SPAR brand) said “With My SPAR Rewards Club there will be no points, no paper and no waiting. We wanted our rewards programme to reflect our convenience model so shoppers will start benefitting the minute they join up. We are delighted that Louis Byrne, Retailer Chair of our SPAR Council, is leading the way in his stores with the launch of this innovative programme. We wish Louis and his staff well with the programme and I have no doubt that their customers will enjoy even more rewarding shopping locally.”
Louis Byrne and his team launched the initiative in-store at SPAR Oak Park and SPAR Monavalley. Store staff also hosted a stand at IT Tralee’s Student Market Day where they were on hand to sign people up as well as offer promotional freebies and competitions.
Louis Byrne said: “I’m delighted to be able to offer my customers such a rewarding loyalty programme. This isn’t one of those programmes where you have to clock up points over a number of months, and wait to receive a voucher. These rewards are instant, they are substantial, and they are across a wide variety of products. We are expecting a very positive take-up of the programme and look forward to rewarding our customers’ loyalty”.
The My SPAR Rewards Club card will double-up as a store debit/savings card meaning customers can top-up in-store or online to eliminate the need for cash, or use it as a savings tool for occasions such as Christmas. Other benefits will include ‘linked offers’ at participating stores e.g., buy 5 coffees, get 6th one free and third party rewards based on partnerships with other business and suppliers at both national and store level. Members will, in addition to exclusive access to draws and competitions, receive offers based on their own shopping preferences.
There will also be a new free SPAR app to accompany My SPAR Rewards Club, allowing customers to get information about offers available at their local SPAR and across the national network.
BWG Foods has partnered with Payback Loyalty Systems to rollout the technology to stores around the country with plans to be fully operational in up to 200 locations by year end. Customers can sign-up in-store or online at www.spar.ie and they will be able to avail of in-store rewards for up to 28 days before registering.
SPAR Ireland Facebook Page reaches 100,000 likes!
SPAR and Newstalk want to find the next great food products
SPAR Ireland and Newstalk 106-108 FM’s business show, ‘Down to Business’, have launched a competition which will give aspiring food producers across Ireland the opportunity to showcase their products on the shelves of local SPAR stores. Click on the below link for more details:http://www.newstalk.ie/programmes/all/down-to-business/spar-competition/
SPAR Express Junction 14 shortlisted for Top Award
SPAR Express Junction 14 has been shortlisted for the 2012 Insight NACS International Convenience Retailer of the Year Award. This is a prestigious award in international convenience retailing. To vote, simply click on the following link: http://www.globalcstorefocus.com/cgi-bin/newsletter.pl?edition=201208&this_page=4 Your support is greatly appreciated.
SPAR Partners with RTE’s ‘Kitchen Hero’ for a Third Series
The popular Donal Skehan returns for his 2nd series marking an additional €200,000 investment through a long-term partnership with SPAR
SPAR Ireland is to sponsor the 2nd series of RTE’s hugely popular cooking programme, ‘Kitchen Hero’ hosted by Donal Skehan, representing an overall €200,000 marketing investment by the brand. The show, with almost 500,000 viewers per episode last season is set to return to the airwaves next Monday 30 April.
Marketing & Communications Director, BWG Foods (owners and operator of the SPAR brand) Suzanne Weldon, said: “reaffirming our partnership with ‘Kitchen Hero’ was a no brainer given that the focus of the show is the convenient cooking of good value, quality food, something that is a clear match with our own brand. The theme of this season coincides with Donal’s upcoming book ‘Great Food for Less’ and is something that most people can identify with in this day and age. We know that Irish people have an established and ever growing love affair with food, and in particular cooking shows, and this show, through platforms such as social media allows us to align ourselves with what our customers want”.
“Running along side our sponsorship with ‘Kitchen Hero’, SPAR will continue its specially created advertising with SPAR personality ‘Ferg’ – comedian Fred Cooke – which has really resonated with our audience and stakeholders. From a marketing point of view Donal Skehan has brought with him a fresh, young and motivated customer base which we have been able to tap into through social media platforms such as Twitter and our very own SPAR iPhone App,” said Weldon.
The upcoming season, tipped to be another overwhelming success, will comprise 13 episodes tastefully focussing on great food for less where Donal will attempt to create a number of delicious dishes from a value conscious perspective.
Donal Skehan is a self-taught cook and food photographer, who at the age of 25 has an award winning blog and three cook books. The series has been created by TV food and travel specialists, Inproduction, who also produced Neven Maguire’s Home Chef, Clodagh McKenna’s Fresh From the Sea and Rachel Allen’s Favourite Food. All programmes, including Kitchen Hero, are directed and produced by David Hare, the company’s managing director.
There are 450 SPAR stores operating throughout the Republic of Ireland, providing employment to over 14,000 people locally and supporting many local Irish food and beverage suppliers around the country. SPAR Ireland, part of the BWG Group, incorporates the three SPAR formats of SPAR for convenience and neighbourhood shopping, SPAR Express for forecourt shopping and EUROSPAR for family and supermarket shopping. SPAR and its retailers have been recognised through international and local awards programmes for innovation and world class standards in retailing.
Britton breezes to gold in Slovenia
Wicklow's Fionnuala Britton won gold at the 18th SPAR European Cross Country Championships in Velenje, Slovenia on Sunday.
The Kilcoole AC athlete ran a determined race from the front, shaking off the attention of all her challengers before pulling clear with a couple of laps to go.
Maintaining a smooth rhythm throughout, she raced to a wide-margin victory over Dulce Felix of Portugal, with Gemma Steel of Britain back in third.
The victory was Ireland's second gold medal in the race after Catherina McKiernan's success at the inaugural championships back in 1994.
In last year's race, Britton faded out of the medals to finish in a frustrating fourth place and that was very much in her thoughts going into today's race.
Speaking after the race, the new European Champion said:
"I can hardly believe it. That was the plan (to make the running) from that start and I knew I had to it. After last year, this is the only medal I wanted. In a ways, it's been on my mind for the whole year."
In the men's race, Joe Sweeney of Ireland ran a huge race to finish fifth behind Atelaw Bekele of Belgium.
The Dundrum South Dublin AC athlete raced to prominence early and was in second place behind runaway leader and eventual winner Bekele as he approached the bell.
However, he was unable to maintain his position amongst the medals through a punishing last lap, but stayed on dourly to finish a very honourable fifth place.
The men's team finished sixth overall, with Paul Pollock contributing with a fine debut performance at the championships, which saw him race home in 26th place.
SPAR Launches Four New Stores in Australia
SPAR Australia is proud to announce the opening of new SPAR stores in Australia in Hillcrest, Bermagui, Coraki and Texas.
Since December 2010 SPAR Australia has converted 19 Metcash supplied stores to the group and has welcomed another 12 independent retailers to the group. SPAR's business principal of supporting independent retailers through the motto of "family business helping family businesses" is one of the key reasons why store owners join the SPAR brand.
Since becoming Managing Director of SPAR Australia in December 2010, Lou Jardin has vowed to continue to provide competition at the wholesale level, ensuring independent Retailers are able to source deals that allow them to compete in the market and ensure the survival of family businesses in the grocery industry.
Locally owned and operated, the stores are part of the worldwide SPAR family. Over 12,139 SPAR stores across 35 countries meet the needs of over 11 million customers daily. At SPAR you can be assured of great service, a great range, low prices every day and specials that will SAVE you money!
SPAR opens in the Middle East
The opening of the first SPAR supermarket in the Middle East is part of the global expansion strategy of SPAR International. By 2015 we plan for SPAR to have significant presence not only in the UAE but also across a number of other GCE countries. This exciting opening in Abu Dhabi increases the global footprint of SPAR with the UAE becoming the 35th country in which SPAR operates." Dr. Gordon Campbell, Managing Director, SPAR International BV., announced in Amsterdam.
This first SPAR supermarket in Abu Dhabi has a sales area of 2,200m² and operates on one floor. It is located in the important Khalidiya business district behind the Prestige building. The SPAR supermarket offers a range of over 20,000 products to meet the needs of quality conscious customers and families. The key focus of the store is on freshness, quality, value and service.
The fresh food departments are exceptional with a wide choice of fruit, vegetables, delicatessen, meat and fish products. A special feature of the store is a comprehensive range of food to go including European, Arabic and Indian cuisine. Value is derived to the customers not only through outstanding everyday low prices and special promotions but also through a comprehensive range of private label products. The store offers more than 500 private label products, combining locally and regionally sourced SPAR products, and international SPAR brands imported from Europe. The intention is to grow this range over time, supporting it with even more local and regionally sourced items.
The opening of this supermarket provided employment to 120 people who will all benefit from the skills in retail development training which SPAR International is able to provide through our local partner. SPAR promises truly international shopping standards at local prices; an unparalleled experience, with international food ranges, imports and ingredients for richly diverse regional cuisines. The store is also supported by an optician, a banking services centre, a Pizzeria and Café.
The second SPAR store in the UAE, a compact hypermarket of 3,700m² sales area, will open in the Khalifa district of Abu Dhabi before the end of the year. Plans are advance to open further stores in 2012 and the target is to have 9 stores, hypermarkets and supermarkets, operational by the end of 2013. All the stores will deliver an international shopping experience, reflecting the SPAR brand retail values. SPAR provides unmatched expertise in the field of food retailing, combined with best practice in design and merchandising.
SPAR International has been able to work with our local partner, SPAR UAE, to bring expertise from around the world to Abu Dhabi. The SPAR supermarket brings best practice in international food retailing to our customers. SPAR will provide a unique shopping experience based on the SPAR brand values of Freshness, Quality, Value and Service. Our partner in Abu Dhabi has local knowledge of the market and trends, understands consumer demands and expectations, and together we will bring international world class retailing experience to all of our locations in the UAE.
SPAR International extends European Athletics sponsorship until 2015
European Athletics and SPAR International are pleased to announce that SPAR, the world's largest organisation of independent food retailers, has extended its commitment to athletics on the continent for a further four years until the end of 2015.
SPAR International has been the principal sponsor of European Athletics since 1996. The new contract commences in January 2012 and will incorporate the following European Athletics events:
· European Athletics Championships 2012 and 2014
· European Athletics Indoor Championships 2013 and 2015
· European Team Championships 2013, 2014, 2015
· SPAR European Cross Country Championships 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
Hansjörg Wirz, President of European Athletics, said: “We are delighted that SPAR will continue as our main partner. We have had a fantastic relationship with SPAR over the past 15 years and we value the company’s continued support as we continue to address our ambitious plans for athletics in Europe.”
Christian Milz, Director General of European Athletics, also welcomed the news of the renewal: “The added value that SPAR brings to promoting athletics in Europe thanks to its thousands of shops is of huge importance to us.”
“I am sure our close relationship with SPAR over the next four years will ensure that we can continue to showcase both our main events and our initiatives in youth development and mass participation in line with SPAR’s own goals and values,” he said.
Dr. Gordon Campbell, SPAR International Managing Director, said: “European Athletics championship events provide SPAR with a cost effective, good level of brand exposure. Through our partnership with European Athletics, the SPAR brand is closely aligned with energetic and healthy people competing at the pinnacle of sport on the continent, and this combined with our support of national and local athletics events is the right synergy for us.”
SPAR International was pleased with the brand exposure at the Barcelona 2010 European Athletics Championships. A television audience of 368 million watched last summer’s event during live broadcasts (965 million cumulative audience including news), underlining the continued popularity of European Athletics’ flagship championships.
“European Athletics events are a great platform for building the SPAR brand worldwide. We are very much looking forward to the next championships in Helsinki in 2012 and then Zürich in 2014 as European Athletics switches to a two-year cycle for its main championships,” said Dr. Campbell.
The sponsorship renewal means SPAR will be principal international partner for the Göteborg 2013 European Athletics Indoor Championships and the to-be-awarded 2015 European event as well as the 2013, 2014 and 2015 European Team Championships. SPAR also will be the title sponsor of the annual SPAR European Cross Country Championships through 2012 to 2015.
SPAR launches first Hypermarket in New Delhi
Date, New Delhi, India. SPAR International, the world’s largest independent food retail chain with a presence in 34 countries, has unveiled its first hypermarket in India’s capital city.
Stretching over 7,500m2 on a single floor, this large-format SPAR store is located at the Pacific, Tagore Garden in West Delhi. This is the sixth SPAR store in India, with the other five located in the cities of Bangalore, Hyderabad and Mangalore. Freshness, choice, value and service are the brand pillars of SPAR India and form the core of its retail philosophy.
SPAR’s New Delhi store promises truly international shopping standards at Indian prices. The customer experience is unparalled. The international store design and layouts at SPAR promise the customer an easy and hassle-free shopping experience.
For ease of shopping, the categories on offer are merchandised in ‘worlds’ i.e Children, Living, Kitchen, Clothes, Gifting, Electronics, Fresh produce (including fruits, vegetables, meat, fish, delicatessen and an in-store bakery), speciality food concepts, basic essentials, Health and Beauty, FMCG food, Wine and Beer and a restaurant.
The SPAR hypermarket has the widest range on offer in a single store with over 100,000 products catering to the needs of quality and value-conscious customers. The SPAR ‘Every Day Low Price’ policy and ‘Best Deal’ promotions guarantees a new concept of value for Delhi customers.
Speaking at the opening, Viney Singh, Managing Director, Max Hypermarket India Pvt. Ltd, said “We hope to take the shopping experience in Delhi to a new level. At SPAR we get international best practices and adapt them to best suit the needs of the local shopper. Also because of our sharp pricing, promotions, loyalty programme, the largest fresh produce section and customer-centric service, our customers look forward to shopping with us every week.”
The hypermarket has some unique aspects not found in other stores. A special feel has been created at the centre of the fresh area that gives the feel of a busy market. The ‘Enjoy Now’ counters help weary shoppers to recharge - fresh juices, Indian savouries, fruit salads, Indian sweets and buttermilks that energise while shopping. There is also a special ‘tandoor’ in the non vegetarian section where kebabs and tandoori items will be freshly made on the spot for customers to eat and enjoy or even take away.
His Excellency, the Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Mr. Bob Hiensch who presided at the inauguration, stipulated the long history of SPAR. “The story of SPAR in the early years is the story of Adriaan Van Well, a visionary Dutch wholesaler. He was inspired by a simple yet powerful philosophy that independent wholesalers and retailers can achieve more by working together than working alone. This philosophy that has been optimised in many sectors in the agricultural chain in the Netherlands. Netherlands based SPAR International has modernised this philosophy which is currently prevalent in the modern retail sector in 33 countries”.
Fresh – farm to fork
The Fresh produce section is the largest amongst hypermarket players in India. At SPAR the effort is to maximise procurement of fresh produce directly from the source, i.e the farmers. The bulk of the fruits and vegetables are directly procured and maintained at the desired temperature to preserve quality, freshness and retain nutritive value. To ensure day-long freshness and quality of the highest standards, SPAR uses instore state of the art technology. Cold rooms at every store for each category of fresh produce ensure that customers’ purchases are indeed ‘SPAR Fresh’. SPAR maintains strict international standards in sourcing non-vegetarian products. The fish counter at SPAR offers a wide range of sea as well as fresh water fish that are cleaned and cut to customer specifications and then packed in ice thus ensuring freshness till the customer’s doorstep.
Freshness is one of the most important aspects that shoppers look for in every product they buy and the emphasis that SPAR places on the same is unparalleled. SPAR, in fact, plans to bring in value to the consumer by increasing the number of fresh lines across its food and beverage concepts.
Service – an experience that will bring you back to SPAR
SPAR assures its customers world-class service. The store has been designed in collaboration with the design team from SPAR International keeping the experience and convenience of the customers in mind. Wide aisles for easy trolley movement, high ceilings which give an airy and open ambience, 47 cash tills for fast billing (SPAR maintains the highest ratio of cash tills to retail space in India), the token system at the fish counter for streamlined orders as well as separate billing system at the non-vegetarian counters keeping in mind the religious sensitivities of individuals.
SPAR Private Label Development
The focus in recent times has been on the development of the SPAR India private label range and much headway has been made in the research and development and launch of these products, with a diverse group of products now available covering food and non-food. The SPAR food private labels currently account for 16% of the total food sales. This is likely to grow to 25% by March 2013.
SPAR India, part of the Max Hypermarkets Group, has the dual advantage of its affiliations with SPAR International and the Landmark Group. SPAR International provides unmatched expertise in the field of food retailing combined with best practices in designing and merchandising. The path-breaking Landmark Group, whose stores are category killers in non-food retail, provides for superior sourcing and product assortments.