SPAR Austria again grew its market share in 2023

March 16, 2024 IN THE CATEGORY: Feature articles

SPAR Austria reported a gross retail turnover of EUR 9.88 billion for the year 2023. SPAR Austria grew faster than the industry average (+8.0% according to NielsenIQ), achieving a market share of 36.8% which has further expanded its market leadership.

Founded in 1954 by a single wholesaler and 100 retailers, SPAR Austria is celebrating its 70th anniversary in 2024. The company has again been particularly successful in the food trade in Austria, where SPAR outperformed market growth with an increase in sales of +9.2%.

Hans K. Reisch, Chairman of SPAR Austria’s Board, said “In 2023, prices were an all-determining issue in the food trade. Politicians, the media, and consumers wrongly blamed the retail trade for the price increases. However, retailers are clearly not the cause of inflation but are themselves affected by inflation. Competition in Austria’s food trade is working, as the Federal Competition Authority established beyond doubt in a wide-ranging industry investigation in November 2023. We have promised our customers that we will pass on any price reductions we receive from the manufacturers to them as soon as possible. We kept this promise and reduced the price of well over 1,000 products in 2023 and, as in the previous year, waived part of our range in favour of customers. Prices are expected to stabilise in 2024.”

Growing retail sales area

There are a total of 1,556 SPAR stores in Austria, 1,048 of which are SPAR Supermarkets and the rest operating under other formats. The stores are continuously developed, renewed, and modernised, increasing retail sales area and expanding product ranges.

70 years ago, when SPAR Austria was founded, the average sales area in the food trade was less than 100m². In the 1990s, it was around 240m², growing to 540m² in 2010, and then to around 655m² in 2022. The stores of SPAR Austria today – including those of independent SPAR retailers – have an average sales area of 800m².

Successful independent retailers

The 665 stores operated by independent SPAR retailers again reported good growth in turnover, with an increase of over 10%. Many retailers invested in expansion and modernising their stores, so despite a reduction in the number of stores operated by independent retailers, the retail sales area remained stable at just over 300,000m².

SPAR Austria Group

In 2023, the SPAR Austria Group reported turnover of over EUR 20 billion across all business segments. Despite enormous cost increases, especially for energy and personnel, SPAR Austria Group’s EBT amounted to EUR 221 million, which corresponds to an EBT margin of 1.5%.

The SPAR Austria Group also operates stores in Northern Italy, Hungary, Slovenia, and Croatia. The Group now has 1,479 stores in those markets, generating a total turnover of EUR 7.80 billion. Around 40,000 people are employed in the wholesale and retail operations.

SPAR Croatia was called out for strong expansion. As an example, a new INTERSPAR Hypermarket which opened in Kukuljanovo was highlighted. In Croatia, SPAR crossed the EUR 1 billion turnover threshold for the first time in 2023. SPAR Austria Group is investing around EUR 100 million in a logistics centre in Croatia to meet this continuing expansion. The new logistics centre in Klinča Sela, with a size of 75,000m², is nearing completion. The situation in Hungary continues to be extremely difficult. A price cap regulation for important product groups and a disproportionately high retail tax, which has now again been increased from 4.1% to 4.5% of net sales, are putting pressure on earnings.

Over 93,500 people are employed in the SPAR Austria Group, almost 52,000 of whom work in Austria. In 2023, the Group invested around EUR 750 million in the company’s future, mainly in projects in the areas of digitalisation, expansion, logistics and sustainability. A similarly high sum is planned for 2024.


In Hungary, Slovenia and Austria, the SPAR Austria Group also operates online food platforms. In Vienna and Salzburg, groceries are delivered to customers’ doorstep. Additionally, collection boxes are available at 8 locations in Vienna, Vösendorf, Eisenstadt, Linz, Salzburg, Hallein, St. Pölten, and Dornbirn. A collection box will soon be added in Klagenfurt.

While sales are growing in Slovenia and Hungary, customer interest in buying groceries online is declining in Italy and Austria. There is a strong demand online for household and leisure items that INTERSPAR offers to customers in Austria. In addition the dedicated wine online platform continues to be very successful.

Source: SPAR Austria

Read more about SPAR Austria

About SPAR Austria

The origins of SPAR in Austria date back to 1954, but the current SPAR AG was created in 1970 when the original founding families joined other regional wholesalers to form SPAR Austria AG – a 100% privately owned Austrian company. With licences granted by SPAR International, ASPIAG (Austria SPAR International AG) has developed the brand in Slovenia, Hungary, Croatia, and Northern Italy.

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