Best in class: Celebrating two of our finest EUROSPAR Supermarkets

July 20, 2018 IN THE CATEGORY: Feature articles

SPAR is known for investing in the refurbishment of its stores and across our global network of more than 12,700 outlets, we have many fantastic supermarkets that add value to the communities in which they operate. In this article, we highlight two outstanding EUROSPAR Supermarkets that are shining examples of what we like to call ‘best in class’ SPAR stores: EUROSPAR Tomasjord in Norway and EUROSPAR Creightons in Northern Ireland.

EUROSPAR Tomasjord

EUROSPAR Tomasjord is located in Tromsø, a city in the north of Norway where you can see the Aurora Borealis and go whale watching in the fjords. The city has close to 75,000 inhabitants and is a very popular tourist destination.

This EUROSPAR is one of SPAR Norway’s biggest stores with a sales area of 2,300m2. In 2015, EUROSPAR Tomasjord was awarded the prize of best SPAR store in Norway. It offers customers over 300 different types of beer and has a huge fresh food counter. Over 80 people work in the supermarket, which is open from 07:00-23:00 during the week and from 08:00-22:00 on Saturdays.

Store owner, Bjørn Bendiksen, believes the cooperation with SPAR International has been very important for EUROSPAR Tomasjord: “The SPAR International team has given us valuable insight into new trends. We have taken on board best practice learnings from our fellow SPAR colleagues all over the world and have learnt to think in different ways. One example is the use of social media. SPAR International started using this form of communication early on and that has inspired us to use and develop our social media accounts to better connect with our customers.”

Mr Bendiksen also says that he is very inspired by good floor planning and solutions that trigger the customer in a positive way: “The presentations SPAR International give at conferences about what’s to come for retail in the future and how customers will do their shopping, have been very inspirational,” he concludes.

EUROSPAR Creightons

EUROSPAR Creightons is prominently located on the busy Lisburn Road in Belfast’s Balmoral District and was opened after significant investment was made by its independent owners, Gail Boyd and Niall Creighton. It is one of three stores owned by Gail and Niall, who joined SPAR UK Partner, Hendersons, in 2005.

The supermarket faces competition from many large players in the industry but has found success by placing significant emphasis on providing great service, which includes having a team of forecourt attendants on duty seven days a week to ensure customers are given the personal touch.

One can’t fail to be impressed by the breadth of instore product ranges and services. The EUROSPAR’s support of local suppliers is evident throughout the store range. A hot food and deli counter sit alongside a range of pre-prepared ‘heat and eat meals’ in addition to a Creightons branded butchery, which only sells meat that is locally sourced from the family farm. These initiatives are paying dividends as year-on-year sales are currently up by 15%, far exceeding expectations.

The EUROSPAR Supermarket’s bold and impressive signage complements the state-of-the-art LED lighting and instore media screens that communicate a wealth of community and promotional news. There are some great design features and the heritage of the Creightons brand has been fused within the modern space creating great instore theatre.

EUROSPAR Creightons was named as the overall winner of the Forecourt of the Year (independently owned) and Independent Retailer of the Year categories at the 2017 UK Retail Industry Awards. Store Manager, Andrew Porter, spoke about the win saying: “As a team, we strive to continually improve all aspects of our business and listen carefully to feedback from our customers to tailor our offering to their needs. EUROSPAR Creightons is our third store and our performance to date has surpassed initial sales and revenue forecasts, so we’re incredibly positive about the future.”

The supermarket has brought a wealth of new services to the area as well as employment opportunities for the local community with 50 new full and part-time roles being created from customer service to deli staff.

This story was first published in Issue 1 2018 of our quarterly magazine, Contact International.

To read more stories from this edition, follow this link.