Record investment of €660 million
Last year, the SPAR Austria Group invested a total of €660 million in the development of new stores and the modernisation of existing outlets. In Austria, the main focus was placed on converting stores to the new, fresh produce-oriented store concept, which has been rolled out since 2017. So far, more than 100 stores have been converted.
A large amount has also been invested in SPAR’s own production facilities, such as the modernisation and expansion of the TANN meat production plants in Wörgl and Graz and the construction of a new TANN plant in Monselice near Padua in Italy. In Üllö (Hungary) the new SPAR enjoy factory for convenience products was opened. A new central warehouse for SPAR in Northern Italy is planned to open in 2020.
In 2019, an estimated €700 million will be invested in store development and production facilities.
More than 82,000 employees
The SPAR Austria Group currently employs 82,741 people in eight countries, over 44,703 of whom work in Austria. In 2018, the company created over 1,300 new jobs in Austria and abroad. In total, the SPAR Austria Group has more than 3,200 trainees.
Less stores generating more sales
Despite the opening of 30 SPAR and EUROSPAR Supermarkets in 2018 and the modernisation of 70 outlets, the total number of SPAR, EUROSPAR and INTERSPAR stores in Austria decreased from 1,616 in 2017 to 1,560 in 2018. This reduction in store numbers is due to the loss of SPAR Express forecourt stores at Shell petrol stations.
Dr. Gerhard Drexel, CEO of SPAR Austria, said: “The fact that we were able to achieve such great sales growth with slightly fewer locations shows the strength of the SPAR Brand and the great trust that our customers place in us. We are really proud of this trust.”
Expansion and modernisation of INTERSPAR Hypermarkets
After a year of renovations, the completely renewed INTERSPAR Hypermarket in Steyr opened its doors in November 2018. The 3,600m² INTERSPAR offers a completely new and modern shopping experience and jobs to 150 employees. Over €21 million was invested in the new hypermarket.
Two new INTERSPAR Hypermarkets are currently in the pipeline with an existing EUROSPAR Supermarket in Perg (Upper Austria) to be upgraded to INTERSPAR and a brand new INTERSPAR to be built in Vienna.
Five modernisations are also underway with the well-known INTERSPAR Hypermarkets in Bregenz, Braunau, Lienz, Vienna-Alt Erlaa and Amstetten undergoing extensive renovations. Apart from Amstetten, where the opening will take place in the autumn of 2019, the renewed INTERSPAR’s are not expected to open before 2020.
INTERSPAR online food shop
The INTERSPAR online food shop is available in and around Vienna as well as in Salzburg and its surroundings. Customers can have their groceries delivered to their homes or to pick-up boxes, creating greater flexibility for shoppers. In order to make shopping as easy as possible, INTERSPAR is increasing the number of pick-up boxes at train stations.
In addition to its extensive range of A-brand products, SPAR Austria also offers an attractive own brand range. Last year, the sales share of about 5,000 SPAR Own Brand products amounted to more than 40% of wholesale sales, an increase of nearly 6%. The most successful own brand ranges in 2018 were: S-Budget (+11%), SPAR Natur*pur (+14%), SPAR PREMIUM (+13%), SPAR enjoy (+10%) and SPAR Vital (+10%).
For many years, SPAR Austria has been campaigning for healthier ingredients in its products. By the end of 2018, 99% of SPAR Own Brand products were free of palm oil and a total of 480 tonnes of sugar had been removed from more than 200 own brand products, without adding artificial sweeteners. The goal is to remove at least 1,000 tonnes of sugar from own brand products by 2020.
The Austria SPAR International AG (ASPIAG) operates 1,256 SPAR and EUROSPAR Supermarkets and 104 INTERSPAR Hypermarkets in Italy, Hungary, Slovenia and Croatia. Overall, these countries achieved a total turnover of €5.7 billion in 2018 and a sales growth of 7.2% compared to the previous year.
There are currently 537 DESPAR and EUROSPAR Supermarkets and 37 INTERSPAR Hypermarkets in Northern Italy. Total sales increased by 4.2% to €2.25 billion. In addition to the ongoing expansion in the Emilia Romagna region, the main focus is on consolidating and optimising wholesale logistics. Currently, a new distribution centre and a new TANN meat production plant are being built near Padua.
In Slovenia, 21 of the 122 SPAR stores (109 SPAR, 13 INTERSPAR) are managed by independent SPAR retailers and in 2018, six new independent retailers opened stores. SPAR Slovenia generated gross sales of €816 million last year, an increase of 4.1%.
SPAR Hungary operates 555 stores, 174 are managed by independent retailers, of which 102 are petrol forecourt outlets. In 2018, 17 SPAR forecourt stores were added to the network and SPAR Hungary’s sales grew by 9.8% to €1.94 billion. In Üllö, a new SPAR enjoy production facility for convenience products was opened.
Following the acquisition and successful integration of Billa stores in 2017, SPAR Croatia opened two new INTERSPAR Hypermarkets and five new SPAR Supermarkets in 2018. These stores generated sales of €688 million, an increase of 14.6%.
Source: SPAR Austria
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About SPAR Austria
The origins of SPAR in Austria date back to 1954 and the current SPAR AG was created in 1970, when the original founding families joined with other regional wholesalers to form SPAR Austria AG – a 100% privately owned Austrian company.
SPAR Austria’s gross retail sales growth reached 6.7 billion euro in 2017 from 1,566 stores including 757 operated by independent retailers. SPAR Austria is the largest private training organisation for young apprentices in their market.