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SPAR Austria grows sales and jobs

April 13, 2017 IN THE CATEGORY: Digital and Marketing

2016 was a year of expansion and growth for the SPAR Austria Group. In Austria, 28 Zielpunkt stores were acquired and rapidly converted to SPAR; in addition, 30 new stores were opened and about 100 others were either modernised or expanded.

  • Highest sales growth in the industry (5.3%)
  • Acquisition of 62 Billa stores in Croatia
  • Opening of 200th Hervis store
  • Strong growth of 6.0% at SES Shopping Centres
  • 2,500 additional jobs created, thereof 1,360 in Austria

With 1,620 stores, SPAR in Austria generated gross sales of 6.42 billion, an increase of 5.3%. This enabled SPAR Austria to achieve the largest market share growth in the industry for the sixth time in the past seven years. With more than 3,000 stores in Austria and affiliated markets, the SPAR Austria Group achieved gross sales of € 13.80 billion, an increase of 4.8%. Hervis contributed € 493 million, while the Shopping Centre division generated € 2.85 billion. More than 77,400 people work at the SPAR Austria Group, thereof 42,800 are employed in Austria. In 2016, the SPAR Austria Group created over 2,500 new jobs, of which 1,360 were in Austria.

Record investments

The SPAR Austria Group invested € 600 million in new stores and the ongoing modernisation of existing stores, not only SPAR, EUROSPAR and INTERSPAR formats but also in Shopping Centres, new Distribution Centres and production companies. More than 50% was invested in Austria. For 2017, investments of over €600 million are planned.

More than 77,000 jobs

In Austria and affiliated markets, the SPAR Austria Group currently employs 77,480 employees, over 42,800 of whom work in Austria. In total, the SPAR Austria Group has 3,400 trainees.

THE SPAR Austria Group offers 2,700 apprenticeships in Austria, but in 2016 they were not able to fill all positions. With 2,300 apprentices currently in Austria, SPAR remains the largest private Austrian training organisation.

Food trade Austria / SPAR Austria

Renewed growth leadership

SPAR Austria’s gross sales increased to € 6.42 billion in 2016, which represents an excellent growth of 5.3% compared to the previous year. This growth is partly due to the takeover and integration of 28 Zielpunkt stores in eastern Austria. Furthermore, organic growth, modernisation and expansion of existing stores as well as development of existing sales areas contributed to this growth.

The total number of SPAR, EUROSPAR and INTERSPAR stores in Austria grew to 1,620. Of these, there are 1,151 SPAR Supermarkets, 53 SPAR Gourmet stores, 189 EUROSPAR Supermarkets, 65 INTERSPAR Hypermarkets, seven Maximarkt stores, 60 restaurants and 95 SPAR Express forecourt stores.

New store concept is rolled out

In the supermarket sector, SPAR developed a new store concept and store design, which was tested at several locations in 2016 and will be rolled out in 2017. In all new and modernised stores, this state-of-the-art store design will be implemented.

Independent SPAR retailers are growing strongly
The new store design is also available to independent SPAR retailers whose number decreased from 784 (2015) to 771 (2016). SPAR Retailers are an extremely successful and important entity within the SPAR Austria Group which is reflected by their excellent sales growth of 4%.

Expansion of INTERSPAR Hypermarkets

INTERSPAR Hypermarkets continue to expand strongly. In March 2016, a completely redesigned INTERSPAR Hypermarket was opened at Shopping Centre ‘huma eleven’ in Vienna. The opening of the renewed INTERSPAR Hypermarket at Floridsdorfer Spitz, also in Vienna, took place in September 2016. Finally, in November 2016, the INTERSPAR Hypermarket in Mistelbach (Lower Austria) opened its doors after complete reconstruction.

Two more INTERSPAR projects were launched in 2016: the reconstruction of an outdated INTERSPAR Shopping Centre in Wels began in April. The opening is expected to be celebrated in the summer of 2017. In Wels, SPAR Austria is building a modern gastronomy college – a training centre for 900 employees in the INTERSPAR gastronomy, at an investment of € 20 million. € 25 million will be invested in Imst where the ground-breaking ceremony for the first INTERSPAR Hypermarket in the Tyrolean Oberland took place in November. The opening is scheduled for spring 2018, 95 new jobs will be created.

 Expansion of the INTERSPAR online food shop

September 2016 saw the launch of the INTERSPAR online food shop. With 20,000 food products available for order, it is the largest online food shop in Austria. At present, the online shop is only available in Vienna, but extension to other cities of Austria is being planned with the online shop service being rolled out to Salzburg in spring of 2017

State-of-the-art production facilities

With eight regional INTERSPAR fresh bakeries, INTERSPAR is one of Austria’s largest bakers. In 2017, SPAR will again invest in further production facilities. The TANN meat production plant will be either built or completely modernised in Wörgl and Graz.

Logistics

For years, SPAR Austria’s Distribution Centres have been a benchmark for modern logistics throughout Europe. The expansion of the central warehouse in Wels and the opening of the new Distribution Centre in Ebergassing, in June 2016, highlight SPAR Austria Group’s innovative spirit.

Food trade abroad / ASPIAG (Austria SPAR International AG)

SPAR Austria Group currently operates 1,128 SPAR and EUROSPAR stores and 98 INTERSPAR hypermarkets in four neighbouring countries – Italy, Hungary, Slovenia and Croatia. (Acquisition of Billa stores in Croatia is not included).

Overall, the country organisations achieved a total turnover of € 4.86 billion which is a growth of 3.4%.

Strong activities in Northern Italy

In Northern Italy, SPAR currently operates 532 DESPAR and EUROSPAR Supermarkets and 34 INTERSPAR Hypermarkets. 15 stores were modernised, 10 new stores were opened, including a modern INTERSPAR Hypermarket in Parma. Additionally, 15 independent DESPAR retailers opened new stores. Total sales increased by 2.8% to € 2.07 billion.

SPAR Croatia shows strong growth

At the end of 2016, SPAR operated 39 SPAR and 19 INTERSPAR markets in Croatia, generating sales of € 380 million in 2016, an increase of +2.9% (with changes of exchange rates) and +1.8% adjusted to exchange rates. At the end of the year SPAR acquired 62 Billa stores.

SPAR retailers in Slovenia

SPAR in Slovenia recently introduced dual market development combining company owned SPAR stores and licencing of independent retailers. Eight independent retailers opened stores in 2016. With a total of 109 stores, SPAR Slovenia achieved gross sales of € 754 million, an increase of 2.9 percent on previous year.

SPAR Hungary

After some difficult years, SPAR Hungary is on the fast track with sales of € 1.66 billion. In 2016, a 5% increase in turnover (5.2% adjusted to exchange rates, 4.7% with exchange rate fluctuations) was achieved. This is due to strong expansion: 46 new stores were opened, 22 of which are SPAR Express forecourt stores. In total, SPAR currently operates 461 SPAR and 32 INTERSPAR stores in Hungary.

Food trade / range / own brands:

In addition to the extensive range of A-brand products, SPAR also offers an attractive own brand range. SPAR uses its own brands to launch product innovations and react quickly to consumer needs. The sales share of about 5,000 SPAR own brand products is more than 40% of wholesale sales, an increase of 8%. The most successful SPAR brands were: the SPAR Natur* pur organic range with a growth of 26% and the S-BUDGET range with a turnover growth of 22%. SPAR Premium continues to be very successful with +16% and the Convenience range – SPAR enjoy – showed an increase of 12%. These developments clearly reflect current consumer trends.

Healthy eating

In 2017, SPAR Austria Group has dedicated itself to healthy nutrition and recently introduced a programme for sugar reduction in various own brand ranges. A reduction of sugar in dairy products and beverages in all own brand ranges was initiated.