Recognising the importance of women in SPAR

March 8, 2024 IN THE CATEGORY: People

  • Austrian master confectioner Andrea Heindl launches new SPAR Skyr products

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This International Women’s Day, SPAR celebrates the achievements of women throughout our international network. Every day, female retailers and entrepreneurs work to provide a great experience for SPAR customers. The continued growth of women's sports also provides inspiration across the globe and SPAR country organisations are proud to support this development.

Retail recognition

Women are integral to all areas of the SPAR business, which comprises 13,996 SPAR stores serviced by 258 logistics centres, from entry positions up to senior management.

SPAR UK regional wholesaler A.F. Blakemore is marking International Women’s Day with its Women in Blakemore Awards. These awards champion and recognise diversity and inclusivity in the business by celebrating the inspiring contributions of women across the organisation, as well as those who champion their success.

Newcastle-based store manager Marie Husthwaite was named as North-East Apprentice of the Year at the North-East Apprentice Awards. Marie deservedly took home the accolade for the impact she delivers instore. SPAR UK regional partner James Hall & Co, has supported the growth of Marie’s career in food retailing over the past eight years.

In Hungary, SPAR honoured Magdolna Bíróné Kósa, deputy manager of the INTERSPAR Hypermarket in Székesfehérvár, for her work on European Retail Day last September.

Entrepreneurial success

Across the network, SPAR country organisations support local producers and today we highlight female entrepreneurs providing innovative products. SPAR Austria sources products for their range through local master confectioner Andrea Heindl. In January, Andrea created two new items: the SPAR Skyr Amisu and the SPAR Skyr Cake, both are now available in SPAR, EUROSPAR and INTERSPAR stores across Austria.

SPAR Hungary’s ’Hungaricool’ competition, which creates opportunities for local producers through a nationwide competition, saw both Gloria Turi’s NaTuri and Homor Eszter’s Fizzz Water products brought to market. Additionally, SPAR Croatia’s ‘Yes it’s homemade!’ initiative and SPAR Slovenia’s Startaj Slovenija competition have seen female entrepreneurs collaborate with their local SPAR organisation to bring their products to customers.

SPAR South Africa has begun a collaboration with a local business, Leafline, which produces reusable and washable sanitary products using a combination of locally sourced pineapple leaf fibres and fabric. This initiative addresses the needs of young women and girls unable to purchase disposable sanitary products, often leading to girls missing days of school. A range of these products are available in SPAR stores across the Eastern Cape, and SPAR aims to increase the number of locations selling the products, making them easily accessible to a wider number of women.

Investing in women’s sport

A focus on sports sponsorship has seen SPAR country organisations increasingly investing in women’s sport. SPAR UK regional wholesaler in Scotland has partnered with the Scottish FA to sponsor the women’s national football team since 2019, while also investing in girls and women’s’ grassroots football nationwide. Meanwhile, SPAR Spain partner in Gran Canaria has sponsored the local CDF Femarguín SPAR Gran Canaria football team for the last 5 years. SPAR Switzerland‘s sponsorship of the women’s national handball team is a partnership already in place for over 10 years.

In South Africa, SPAR organises an annual SPAR Women’s Challenge series which is held in locations throughout the country. This series celebrates women in sport, bringing thousands of runners and walkers together to participate. These events provide an opportunity for women of all ages, fitness levels and backgrounds to participate over 10km or 5km distances, embodying and reflecting the spirit of unity, inclusivity and empowerment.

Sources: James Hall and Co Ltd, SPAR Austria, SPAR Croatia, SPAR Hungary, SPAR Gran Canaria, SPAR Scotland, SPAR Slovenia, SPAR South Africa