Following the entry of Gruppo 3A in January 2020, the seven SPAR Italy regions operate a total of 1,399 stores with a total retail surface of 811,000m2. 68% of retail sales was generated by company-owned stores and 32% by independently owned stores. This affirms the strategic role of affiliation by independent SPAR retailers to SPAR in Italy (locally known as DESPAR).
Turnover across the different SPAR formats highlights the importance of proximity retailing with DESPAR neighbourhood stores generating 37% of sales and EUROSPAR Supermarkets 36%. 27% was generated by INTERSPAR Hypermarkets.
“The results of 2020 indicate strong growth, reflecting how well the seven members of SPAR Italy operated during the pandemic, guaranteeing continuity of service and safety for both employees and consumers. Like the SPAR Brand, our partner companies stand out for their strong business management and solid values. They are coming stronger out of the crisis, having an increasingly solid bond of trust with their customers, modern and secure shops and motivated employees who are proud to be part of the brand. Based on these factors, we are confident that 2021 will see growth continuing,” said Paul Klotz, President of DESPAR Italia.
SPAR Own Brand turnover reached €387 million, taking a 20.3% share of total grocery sales, and showing growth of 9.4%. SPAR Italy launched more than 200 new private label products last year and updated a further 270 products. Environmental sustainability, local sourcing, wellness and food-to-go were at the drivers of new product development by SPAR Italy.
“In 2021, we will continue to grow our private label offering, expanding our assortment with new choices while continuing to improve the existing ones. We work with our suppliers and our partners to improve the price positioning and increase the presence of products in our stores” said Filippo Fabbri, General Manager of DESPAR Italia.
2020 was an important year for DESPAR as they won the coveted Brand of the Year award in the Supermarket category for 2020/21, based on consumer voting. The prestigious international award evaluated a number of brands. Price, assortment, service, expertise, communication, appearance, and ease of shopping were judged by the over 205,000 voters.
The award underlines how, in a critical year, DESPAR Italia consolidated the strong bond of trust that it has with consumers. The constant commitment to ensure safety and continuity of service in its shops was rated very highly. Convenience, assortment, and ease of purchase also scored high and contributed to the win.
Source: DESPAR Italia
Read more news about SPAR in Italy.
SPAR Italy was first granted the licence to operate the SPAR Brand in 1959. The first store opened in 1960, and with it, SPAR became the first partnership of retailers and wholesalers to operate in the country. SPAR Italy, known locally as DESPAR Italia, licenses regional partners, all of whom work together to grow the brand across the country.
The DESPAR Partners operate stores under three formats: DESPAR Neighbourhood Supermarkets, EUROSPAR Supermarkets, and INTERSPAR Hypermarkets. Many of the larger format stores are company-owned, reflecting the scale of investment required. While the majority of the company’s turnover is acquired through these larger format stores, the independently owned neighbourhood supermarkets remain a key part of the business.