SPAR to establish largest cooperative food retail chain in Greece

March 19, 2018 IN THE CATEGORY: Store openings

SPAR has announced its entry into the Greek market with the ambition of creating and operating the largest chain of independent food retailers in the country. The partner, SPAR Hellas, plans to develop more than 350 SPAR stores nationwide over the next four years. The stores will offer up to 1,400 SPAR Own Brand products, with many sourced from Greek producers and suppliers.

A strategic cooperation between SPAR Hellas and the ASTERAS association will develop SPAR’s retail presence in Greece. Over the next three years, ASTERAS will convert most of its existing 200-store network to the SPAR Brand. To build its capabilities and resources further, ASTERAS has entered into a joint co-operation with the MESIS association, which has more than 500 stores across Greece and a reported €700 million in sales.

The first 10 SPAR stores are due to launch in Greece by July and SPAR Hellas aims to operate a total of 80 stores by the end of 2018. The SPAR network in Greece will grow both through the conversion of ASTERAS and MESIS stores, as well as through the acquisition of new, company-owned stores by SPAR Hellas.

SPAR International is providing SPAR Hellas with comprehensive support including store development, own brand ranges, staff education & skills development, high-end supply chain distribution, and the design and implementation of locally focused marketing campaigns. Access to international best practice and the local expertise of the team at SPAR Hellas, will ensure a full set of services and benefits for all licensed retailers, helping them grow their business in a competitive retail environment.

Speaking about the strategic new initiative, Fivos Karakitsos, CEO of SPAR Hellas said: “SPAR is establishing itself in Greece in order to develop the most modern cooperative network of independent retail stores in the country. The combination of Greek retailers’ excellent local knowledge and SPAR international’s best practice and global brand, will result in innovative store layouts for the customer, excellent fresh products, a wide range of own brand products and value for money. High-levels of customer service will be delivered through continuous staff training programmes. SPAR retailers will build on their traditional roots, creating a strong family focused business that is unique in the Greek market. SPAR Hellas in turn, consists of a well-regarded team from the areas of sales, marketing, operations and supply chain, which will guarantee the highest level of support for the retail network. Our vision is that SPAR will become one of the strongest retail players in the Greek market and we are excited to play our part in strengthening the Greek economy.”

Tobias Wasmuht, SPAR International Managing Director said: “We are delighted to welcome SPAR Hellas to our global network of partners. SPAR was founded on the principle of ‘Better Together’. Uniting the shared resources and expertise of ASTERAS and MESIS under the internationally-recognised SPAR Brand will benefit all three parties. The Greek retail market is competitive but SPAR will act as a dynamic force, bringing quality, fresh produce, value and an excellent retail experience to our customers. I am confident that SPAR will create growth opportunities for independent retailers and Greek producers and suppliers, bolstering growth of the Greek economy.”

Georgios Vogiatzakis, Development Consultant at SPAR Hellas said: “Supplying local, Greek products in SPAR’s network is a key part of our business strategy. We recognise our responsibility to encourage Greek production and we will continuously strengthen both local production and the economy. The own brand products will gradually be produced in our country and we will offer quality producers the opportunity to access the SPAR network. We will open SPAR stores throughout Greece and will harness the power and expertise of the SPAR Brand to grow the business.”

George Papantonis, President of group ASTERAS said: “The cooperation with SPAR sets a totally new trajectory for ASTERAS but also for the market. With the increased cooperation through partnerships like the one with MESIS, we can achieve the union of the convenience business for Greece under the brand of SPAR. Our target is that by the year 2021, ASTERAS will report more than €1.20 billion in sales and a market share that will be well over 12% in total.”

About SPAR International

SPAR International is the world’s largest food retail voluntary chain with over 12,500 stores worldwide and global retail sales of €33.1 billion in 2016. The 2016 International SPAR Annual Report is available here.

SPAR International unites and operates in partnership with independent retailers by working together to share global scale and expertise to enhance the competitiveness of its retail partners worldwide and build the SPAR brand internationally.