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Renovated SPAR stores in Belgium reopen after July floods

October 13, 2021 IN THE CATEGORY: Store openings

Two independently owned SPAR stores in Belgium have been renovated and reopened after incurring damages when heavy flooding hit parts of Europe last summer. Supported by SPAR license holder Retail Partners Colruyt Group and local volunteers, the SPAR stores in La-Roche-en-Ardenne and Rochefort were renovated in a matter of weeks, despite the construction sector holiday. The renovations were used as an opportunity to upgrade the store design and fresh offering, ensuring local communities have access to a high-quality shopping experience.

Floods

Both SPAR supermarkets had to be completely emptied, cleaned, and renovated. While fridges, freezers, and shop fittings had to be replaced, the supermarkets also incurred substantial stock losses.

The town of Rochefort flooded on Wednesday 14 July, and retailer François Brandt’s SPAR store was not spared.

“In the late afternoon, two SPAR independent retailers came from nearby stores to help me place boards and sandbags to protect my store. Nonetheless, the water came in at night and reached a height of 1.40 metres”, François Brandt explained.

“We were able to access the store at around 5 pm the following day. The floodwaters had completely lifted a 10-metre-long freezer. The floor and the ceiling were also affected”, he added.

The SPAR store in La-Roche-en-Ardenne was also severely damaged, with the water reaching a level of 1.60m instore.

“The sales area was destroyed, including refrigerators, freezers, and wooden furniture, which we had to dispose of. Only the floor was left. We completely missed the seasonal shopping peak that runs from 15 July to 15 August. We also lost our entire stock”, said retailer Philippe Massoz.

Renovation and reopening

The SPAR store in La-Roche-en-Ardenne welcomed its customers back just one month after the floods.

“In the days that followed the floods, we benefitted from a wave of solidarity. With the help of a team of around 30 SPAR store employees, independent SPAR retailers, and volunteers, it took us four days to clear up and empty the store”, said Philippe Massoz.

The SPAR store in Rochefort opened a few weeks later.

“Since everything had to be renovated, we decided to upgrade to the latest SPAR store design, which we had already planned on doing within the next two or three years. Our supermarket now has a new look”, said François Brandt.

“The sales area has been increased from 850m2 to 900m2, making the shopping flow easier and more pleasant. We have expanded the selection of fresh products. Thanks to the very enthusiastic students and store staff who helped us so much, we were ready to reopen on 9 September”, he added.

“The cooperation with the Retail Partners Colruyt Group team was perfect. They changed their whole agendas to prioritise our stores hit by the floods. Without them and without our store teams, we would not have been able to reopen”, agreed Philippe Massoz and François Brandt.

Source: SPAR Retail Partners Colruyt Group

Read more about SPAR in Belgium


About SPAR Belgium 

SPAR was launched in Belgium in 1947, representing the first step in the brand’s international development. Two partners – Retail Partners Colruyt Group and Lambrechts – now operate over 300 SPAR branded stores across the country.

SPAR Retail Partners Colruyt Group, which operates both the SPAR and EUROSPAR formats, accounts for over 80% of total SPAR sales generated through a combination of company-owned and independently operated stores. SPAR Lambrechts focuses on serving customers with the SPAR and SPAR Express formats, supporting independent retailers.