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SPAR Belgium stores install life-saving AED equipment

September 25, 2020 IN THE CATEGORY: Community, Health

Four SPAR stores in Belgium have installed brand new automatic external defibrillator (AED) devices on their premises. The installation of AEDs at SPAR Aalter, SPAR Denderwindeke, SPAR Gembloux, and SPAR Wijgmaal follows a successful crowdfunding initiative and generous contributions from independent SPAR retailers, who paid half of the costs of the device. Installed on the outside of the shop, they are accessible to all local residents, day and night, seven days a week.

In Belgium, every year approximately 9,000 people experience sudden cardiac arrest. According to the Belgian Healthcare Knowledge Center, up to 30% of these cardiac arrests occur in a public place. The use of an AED by bystanders increases the chance of survival.

Crowdfunding through microdonations

SPAR shoppers at the four stores have contributed towards purchasing the life-saving AEDs by donating an amount of their choice or rounding up the amount due at checkout. Any additional proceeds will be donated to the Red Cross.

“Despite the corona period, customers spontaneously asked us to contribute to this initiative”, says Anne-Sophie Van Laecke of SPAR Aalter. “They could round up their ticket to the next euro or donate up to 4 euros.”

SPAR Aalter, SPAR Denderwindeke, SPAR Gembloux, and SPAR Wijgmaal have set the ball rolling with their AED initiative. After the test period at these four stores, the campaign may be repeated in other SPAR Colruyt Group stores in Belgium.

Supermarket with a heart for the neighbourhood

“The inspiration for this project came from SPAR Ireland, where a similar initiative was a great success,” says Guido Soret, Sales Director at SPAR Colruyt Group Belgium.

“SPAR is a real neighbourhood supermarket. Every independent entrepreneur tries to be a strong point of reference in their town, a meeting place in the neighbourhood. We are pleased that we have been able to make our customers enthusiastic. The whole neighbourhood benefits from this initiative. By financing half of the purchase amount of the AED device, the independent entrepreneur gives something back to his customers.”

Kris Borloo, independent retailer of SPAR Denderwindeke, was enthusiastic about signing up as a test shop for the campaign.

“As a neighbourhood supermarket, we support a variety of local initiatives. A sudden cardiac arrest can happen to anyone. By investing in an AED device together with our customers, we can save lives in our neighbourhood. That’s why I was more than happy to pay half of the purchase price.”

Source: SPAR Belgium partner Colruyt

Read more news about SPAR Belgium

About SPAR Belgium

SPAR was introduced to Belgium in 1947, representing the first step in the international development of SPAR. SPAR licences have been granted to SPAR Retail (part of the Colruyt Group) and SPAR Lambrechts NV.

SPAR Retail accounts for over 80% of total SPAR sales generated through a combination of company owned and independently operated stores. SPAR Lambrechts is the second partner supporting independent retailers. SPAR Retail operates two formats: SPAR and EUROSPAR, while Lambrechts focuses on serving customers with the SPAR and SPAR Express formats.