The first SPAR store in Russia was opened in August 2001, following the granting of the licence to a regional partner by SPAR International. A central office was developed in Moscow and partners were identified to operate the brand across many regions of this vast market.
SPAR was introduced into Mauritius in 2000 when the SPAR licence was awarded to Rodgers & Co., a major local holding company with an interest in retail, leisure, property and agriculture. The company was sold to Casino France, which currently holds the licence for this market.
SPAR was introduced into Ukraine in 2001, three years after the first modern supermarket was established in the country, in 1999.
SPAR Zambia Ltd is a joint venture including a foreign stakeholder and Zambian partner, Platinum Gold Zambia Ltd. The company was registered in 2003 and commenced trading in December of that year with the first store at Arcades Shopping Centre, in Lusaka.
The licence to operate SPAR in Botswana was granted to SPAR Group Ltd South Africa in 2004 by SPAR International. SPAR Botswana operates SPAR Neighbourhood Supermarkets and SUPERSPAR stores.
SPAR International and SPAR South Africa concluded a licence agreement for Namibia, which commenced on 1 January 2004. This market also operates both SUPERSPAR Supermarkets and SPAR Neighbourhood stores.
The first SPAR Hypermarket was opened in 2005 following the signing of the license agreement between ASPIAG and SPAR International in 1994.
This important market was identified as having strong growth potential following the WTO signing in 2014. SPAR was introduced to China with the signing of the licence agreement for Shandong Province in 2004. This was followed by the addition of more partners, and now SPAR is operational in eight provinces in China: Shandong, Guangdong, Shanxi, Inner Mongolia, Beijing, Sichuan, Hunan and Hubei.
The licence for SPAR in Portugal was granted in 2006 and the first stores opened in late 2007. A combination of company owned stores and licenced independent retailers has seen the brand expand across the country since the first opening.
The SPAR licence was granted to the Artee Group in 2009, a leading retail operator in Lagos. A number of large SPAR Supermarkets are bringing the brand to shoppers in key cities, such as Port Harcourt.
2011: United Arab Emirates
The first SPAR store was opened in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in 2012. SPAR UAE operates three SPAR formats: SPAR Hypermarket, SPAR Supermarket and SPAR Express.
The licence to operate the SPAR Brand in Mozambique was granted to the SPAR Group Ltd South Africa in 2012.
Q.N.I.E. was identified as a partner for the roll out of the SPAR Brand into this market. Plans are in place to open the first large supermarket in 2016. Retail space is not easily available in this highly competitive environment.
In August 2014, SPAR International and Max Hypermarkets entered into a new partnership agreement which will see over 30 SPAR Hypermarkets operational across India by 2019.
The first SPAR Supermarket opened in the oil rich province of Cabinda in June 2014, following the granting of a licence to SPAR Group Ltd South Africa to operate the SPAR Brand in Angola. SPAR South Africa has found a good partner in Webcor, an importer of foodstuffs into Angola.
The licence for Oman was signed with Khimji Ramdas, a US$1 billion Distribution Company, in 2014. Company operated SPAR Neighbourhood Supermarkets have been identified as the best way to roll out the brand in this country.
The SPAR Partner in Georgia is Foodmart, an existing food retailer with a strong and successful business. The licence to operate SPAR was granted to SPAR Georgia by SPAR International in early 2014. SPAR was launched in Georgia later that year, with the opening of three supermarkets in the capital city, Tbilisi.
In September 2014, PT. Ramayana Lestari Sentosa Tbk (Ramayana) was granted the licence to operate SPAR and has set in place firm plans to open 30 SPAR Supermarkets across Indonesia within the next three years, combining the conversion of its existing store portfolio with new stores.
SPAR International granted the licence to operate the Brand to Peoples Trading Centre (PTC), which has a 100-year history of operating in Malawi. The first store began trading in Lilongwe in 2015
Azerbaijan is the second country in the Caucuses region to receive a SPAR licence from SPAR International. After research into possible partners, Araz was selected. A company servicing more than 37,000 daily customers, Araz operates neighbourhood stores, convenience stores and supermarkets. The first SPAR store in Azerbaijan opened in the capital city, Baku, in December.
The licensed SPAR Partner in Cameroon is L’Atrium SA, a joint venture between two existing family owned companies (Dee-lite Sarl and Groupe ARNO) that have experience and local expertise in wholesale and retail operations. The first SPAR store in Cameroon opened in Douala, the country’s largest city.
SPAR International granted SPAR South Africa the licence for Seychelles in 2015. The SPAR Group sought a partner to launch and develop the brand in this new, albeit limited market and supported the development of the first store on Eden Island.