SPAR Austria Group includes SPAR Austria, ASPIAG, Hervis, and SES SPAR European Shopping Centres. In 2020, the trading conditions in all eight countries in which the SPAR Austria Group operates were significantly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Subsequent changes in food retailing boosted the group’s earnings before tax (EBT) slightly to €353 million. The company also invested around €720 million in 2020 and created almost 5,000 new jobs.
In the retail business, SPAR grew faster than the market average in Austria, Hungary, Slovenia, Croatia, and Northern Italy. SPAR is among the top three domestic retailers in all these countries, respectively.
In Austria, SPAR reported an impressive sales growth of 16%, which is well above the Austrian food retail industry’s estimated average growth of 10%, as estimated by Nielsen. SPAR Austria generated total gross sales of €8.32 billion, thereby gaining 1.8% market share. The company is now, for the first time in its history, market leader in Austria with a market share of 34.6%.
In Northeast Italy, Slovenia, Hungary and Croatia, SPAR generated total sales of €6.20 billion and achieved a strong sales growth of 6.5% (after being adjusted for exchange rate effect). In Northeast Italy, SPAR is also market leader with sales of €2.43 billion, in Hungary with €2.10 billion. In Slovenia, SPAR is second with €924 million in sales and in Croatia third with sales of €733 million.
Strong growth of ecommerce sales
The SPAR Austria Group runs online grocery stores in Hungary, Slovenia, and Austria. During 2020, ecommerce sales grew by 150% in Slovenia and by 250% in Hungary. In Austria, orders in the three online shops (food, household, leisure, and wine) increased by 50% in 2020, while sales grew by 60%.
Expansion in all business areas
The SPAR Austria Group grew its store numbers from 3,207 in 2019 to 3,242 in 2020. SPAR also invested strongly in the expansion of its logistics centres. In Austria, the fourth construction stage of the central warehouse in Wels was tackled. In Italy, the fresh distribution centre and the new TANN meat production plant in Monselice went into operation and the starting shot was given for a warehouse in Emilia-Romagna.
In 2020, the SPAR Austria Group created more than 4,900 additional jobs, 4,200 of which in Austria. A total of 90,000 employees currently work in the SPAR Austria Group, of which almost 3,250 are trainees.
Stores run by independent retailers
In Austria, SPAR currently operates 1,578 SPAR, EUROSPAR, and INTERSPAR stores, of which 696 are run by independent SPAR retailers. Just like the turnover of company owned SPAR, EUROSPAR and INTERSPAR stores, sales at retailer operated stores grew significantly faster than the industry average in 2020. This growth has been achieved even though locations in tourist areas suffered a drop in sales.
INTERSPAR celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2020 with the relaunch of five stores. Modernised and completely newly built hypermarkets were reopened in Vienna-Alterlaa, Bregenz, Braunau, Pasching near Linz, and Lienz. A new INTERSPAR store was opened on Breitenfurter Straße in Vienna’s 23rd district.
The new INTERSPAR in Perg, Upper Austria, is expected to open in 2021. Another new INTERSPAR Hypermarket is currently built in Vienna 1, Schottengasse. The opening is scheduled for the summer of 2021.
At the end of 2020, the SPAR Austria Group operated 1,293 SPAR, DESPAR, and EUROSPAR stores and 109 INTERSPAR Hypermarkets in the four neighbouring countries Italy, Hungary, Slovenia, and Croatia.
In Italy, SPAR was able to secure the licence for eight of the twelve provinces in the Lombardy region and will continue to expand there. In Hungary, SPAR took over a meat factory in Perbál with 200 employees in November 2020. Expansion also continued in Slovenia and Croatia with four new stores each.
Source: SPAR Austria
Read more news from 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 with 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.