SPAR Italy Mr. Angelo Verde (third from left) re-opened the supermarket where he used to workDownload image
Mr Verde is an experienced retail employee who worked for several big retail brands since the 1990s. His skills and expertise in most departments were quickly noticed and he often acted as a trainer, sharing his passion and knowledge for retail with his colleagues.
When it became apparent at the end of 2014, that the store he worked for was going to close, Mr Verde realised that he had to come up with a plan to save his and his colleagues’ jobs.
Without any prospect of external support, Mr Verde started searching for a suitable retail brand to partner with as an independent retailer. While the store closing was difficult news, Mr Verde had always aspired to become a retail entrepreneur and so in many ways, it was a blessing in disguise. An engaged person at a local level, where he is both a city councillor and the leader of the majority group in the council, Mr Verde knows how to stand up for his ideas and fight for the well-being of the community.
Following a tip by a colleague, and after being disappointed by other retail brands requiring unattainable securities for a starter retailer, Mr Verde contacted DeSPAR Nordest, the SPAR licence holder in the North-East of Italy. “My first impression was that of a company which was really willing to support my enterprise,” he said.
Secure in this positive feeling, Mr Verde set up a financing plan following the advice of different institutions, and finally became a SPAR retailer. He then hired five of the eight former colleagues who had lost their jobs.
The store, which was renovated in line with the international best practices standards of SPAR, has a strong focus on fresh and has a good deli offering. The butchery counter, a successful department in the previous store, is still attracting customers. Local products play an important role in this SPAR store, which also proudly features a special section of products from the Apulia region in Southern Italy, where Mr Verde originally comes from.
The official opening took place on 18 February and was attended by three regional mayors, the top Management of DeSPAR Nordest, and a number of other dignitaries. A buffet and various product tastings were offered and a good time was had celebrating the unique success story behind this SPAR store.