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SPAR Austria pioneers awarded with prestigious honours

October 23, 2018 IN THE CATEGORY: Awards and prizes

  • Friedrich Poppmeier (left) receiving the Great Golden Medal of Honour with Star and Luis Drexel (right ) the winner of the award for outstanding achievements in domestic trade

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Two of SPAR Austria’s founding fathers have been presented with awards recognising the significant impacts they have had on the retail industry in the country.

For the first time ever, the Austrian Trade Association presented an award for outstanding achievements in domestic trade. This great honour went to Luis Drexel, who had a decisive influence on the industry and played a major role in shaping the brand in Austria.

From 1954 onwards, Mr Drexel, 94, helped to grow the SPAR business in Vorarlberg together with his brothers, Herbert and Hans. In 1970, he played a leading role in founding the current SPAR AG, combining 10 independent regional SPAR organisations in Austria into one single company. Mr Drexel was Chairman of the Executive Board of SPAR Austria for 20 years and President of the Supervisory Board for 11 years.

Gerhard Drexel, son of Luis and current Chairman of the SPAR Austria Board, accepted the award on behalf of his father, reading a thank-you note which evoked an emotional response from the audience.

In recognition of his significant contribution to shaping the retail landscape in Austria, Friedrich Poppmeier was awarded with the ‘Great Golden Medal of Honour with Star’. The award also recognised Mr Poppmeier’s services to the Province of Styria and for his outstanding and exemplary achievements, in particular with regards to boosting the Styrian economy.

Born in Graz, Mr Poppmeier, 85, was involved in founding SPAR Styria in 1958. From 1970 to 1998, he was a member of the Management Board of SPAR Austria, thereafter serving as Vice Chairman of the Supervisory Board until his 80th birthday.

He also held numerous trade functions in the Styrian Chamber of Commerce and in the Federal Economic Chamber of Austria. From 1996 to 2004, he was honorary consul of Sweden. Since 2014 he has been responsible for coordinating the reconstruction and revaluation of the famous CITYPARK shopping centre in Graz. At the awards ceremony, Mr Poppmeier was honoured for his commitment and described as a guarantor of secure jobs and high corporate culture.

Source: SPAR Austria

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About SPAR Austria

The origins of SPAR in Austria date back to 1954 and 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.

SPAR Austria’s gross retail sales growth reached 6.7 billion euro in 2017 from 1,566 stores including 757 operated by independent retailers. SPAR Austria is the largest private training organisation for young apprentices in their market.