Northeast Italy welcomes string of new SPAR stores

January 9, 2018 IN THE CATEGORY: Store openings

  • EUROSPAR in Modena. Photo: A. Azzolin

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  • Ribbon cutting at the DESPAR store in the centre of Padua. Photo: A. Azzolin

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  • Staff at the new DESPAR store in Padua. Photo: Alessandro Azzolin

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It was a busy end to the year for Aspiag Service, the DESPAR Partner for Northeast Italy, with the opening of four new stores. All of the new SPAR Supermarkets are first-class in terms of energy consumption.

New EUROSPAR opens in Modena

The city of Modena has welcomed its first SPAR store – a new EUROSPAR Supermarket of 1,500m2 The store employs 50 people and has a complete assortment of 15,000 SKUs, allowing for a fast weekly shop, with four of its 12 checkouts being self-service.  

Built in just six months, the EUROSPAR ranks highly in terms of energy efficiency (thanks to the use of new technologies) and has a small environmental footprint, in keeping with other stores that have recently been opened by Aspiag. 

Bologna welcomes first INTERSPAR

A new INTERSPAR Hypermarket has opened in Bologna – the first for this historical city and the 36th company-owned INTERSPAR for Aspiag, which operates 228 stores across the DESPAR, EUROSPAR and INTERSPAR formats. 

The new INTERSPAR in Bologna employs 80 people. It is a compact hypermarket of 2,500m2 and has twelve manned and four self-service checkouts. Its assortment comprises 30,000 SKUs – mostly fresh products. Following the success of smaller format SPAR stores that opened recently in Bologna, the company is now catering to different shopping needs with this larger format: from a quick top-up shop, to a complete weekly shop for the whole family.  

“As a growing company, we are helping to create employment at a time when this is not particularly easy,” said Francesco Montalvo, Managing Director of Aspiag Service. “We are managing to operate successfully in an area where other retail brands have a strong historical presence, as we believe that we can offer an excellent alternative in terms of product range, price and service. 

“We aim to remain a high-quality presence in Bologna and keep up with our commitment to providing value to the communities in which we operate.” 

New EUROSPAR near Vicenza

A brand new EUROSPAR Supermarket has been launched in Camisano Vicentino, near Vicenza, just a few days after the INTERSPAR in Bologna was opened.  

With a sales surface of 1,450m2, this EUROSPAR has an assortment of 15,000 SKUs, focussed mainly on food products. Store manager, Paola Vudafieri, is an experienced retailer and coordinates a total of 43 employees to run the supermarket, which has eight checkouts.  

The fresh food service departments show the commitment to providing personal and proficient service to customers: “In an era of virtual relationships, we have opted for excellence in personal service, leveraging our only exclusive asset, which no competitor can replicate – our people,” said Montalvo.

New DESPAR store in centre of Padua

A new DESPAR Supermarket has opened on the Piazza della Frutta, in the heart of Padua. The store has a sales surface of 258m2 with 20 employees and three checkouts. It positions itself as a quality player in this central neighbourhood, which is a real gourmet destination. 

Commenting on the growth of its store network, Montalvo said: “Our SPAR portfolio is made up of more than 200 stores. In total, we employ 43,000 people, including store staff, Distribution Centre employees and our colleagues working in our three head offices.”  

Strong social & environmental commitment

“We are aware that retail is one of the major elements defining local communities and the cities where we live and work,” said Montalvo. “For this reason, we have made it a priority to be a quality player and operate in a way that is respectful of local communities and the environment, making a concerted effort to grow in harmony with them.”  

DESPAR Northeast achieved the ISO14001 certification for its environmental management system in 2013, and its new stores use low-energy equipment, allowing for a reduced environmental footprint.  

The new supermarkets are first-class in terms of energy consumption, with power generated largely by solar panels, which are covered in green vegetation to reduce heat dispersion and prevent excessive heat from building up instore. The remaining power used by the stores is certified “green” power. 

The efficient, environmentally friendly cooling systems, based on CO2 technology, use excess heat to produce hot water for sanitation, eliminating the need for gas boilers. The stores are also equipped with LED lighting, and frozen food counters are fitted with special energy-saving covers. 

Community involvement is another area of importance for DESPAR Northeast, which has a 10-year partnership with Last Minute Market and the Food Bank Foundation – through which it donates all unsold food (that is still suitable for consumption) to various local associations and charities. In 2016 alone, the company donated €5.4 million worth of food, which equates to around 1,8 million meals for people in need. 

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About DESPAR Italy

SPAR International first granted a SPAR Brand licence to DESPAR Italy in 1959. The first store opened in the latter part of 1960 and with it, SPAR became the first partnership of retailers and wholesalers to operate in Italy. DESPAR Italy licenses regional partners, all of whom work together to grow the brand across the country.