Profile of a SPAR Star: Carla Bouwer – SPAR South Africa

October 8, 2020 IN THE CATEGORY: Feature articles, People

Carla Bouwer runs her family’s SPAR Supermarket in Grabouw, South Africa, with her parents and sister, Mari. In recognition of her retailing talent, Carla was selected for the 2019 SPAR Future Leaders Programme. The team at Grabouw SUPERSPAR is actively involved in a wide range of community initiatives, such as animal welfare charities and educational projects, to name just a few.

Could you tell us a bit about your store?
Some of our team members have worked in our store for over 20 years, which shows our SPAR ethos of family values. They have seen my siblings and I grow up and know we work alongside them. It is hugely important for us to ensure our staff turnover is low and that we can build lifelong relationships with our team members.

Our fresh service departments are a key part of the store because innovating and creating something new is what sets us apart from our competitors. Being independently owned yet part of a brand, one must ensure quality and freshness every single day. In our bakery, for example, everything is baked from scratch, giving our bread and pastries a homemade feel. Our grilling section attracts people from neighbouring towns to not only sample the quality meat we supply but also to see it being grilled. Being involved in the running of our departments is really satisfying, especially when an idea for a concept or new service turns into a customer favourite.

What is it about retail that inspires you? 
Our parents raised us to always give a helping hand to those in need. This is another reason why I love retail: You can influence and change someone’s life with something as simple as a tin of baked beans for hunger.

Having a brand like SPAR behind us makes it so much more powerful. SPAR is always creating and innovating new concepts. It is great to try these new concepts and see if they are suited to your market. Being independently owned makes this easy because one can adjust retail strategies to suit our market.

To read the rest of the article, first published in our quarterly magazine Contact International, click here.

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