SPAR Italy, locally known as DESPAR Italia, announced its positive 2021 results during Marca, a leading private label fair in Bologna. Of the total €4 billion in turnover, 67% was generated by company-owned stores and 33% by independent SPAR stores, highlighting the strategic role of independent retailers for the SPAR Brand in Italy. SPAR enjoyed a particularly strong expansion in Sardinia following the entry of a well-established retail group, Fratelli Ibba. SPAR Italy has achieved a 12,7% market share in this region from 65 stores.
SPAR Italy operates 1,374 retail stores across three formats, totalling a retail sales area of 806,102m2. Of the total 1,374 stores, 433 were owned by regional operators and 941 were independently owned by SPAR retailers. Stores of the DESPAR format generated 35% of total retail sales, EUROSPAR 38%, and INTERSPAR 27%.
SPAR Italy’s turnover growth was driven mainly by three factors: the ongoing expansion by SPAR Italy’s regional operators, investments in store renovations and supply chain, and the growing popularity of its own brand products.
2021 also saw the opening of an 18,000m2 logistic hub near Bologna, in Castel San Pietro, resulting from a €33 million investment by Aspiag Service.
“In a complex and challenging context, SPAR Italy regional companies have really been there for their local communities in 2021, ensuring a high level of service throughout the pandemic”, said Paul Klotz, President of DESPAR Italia.
“Our brand is driven by sustainability, and our SPAR team members’ daily work is driven by our community, care, and quality values. Our turnover and private label share growth confirm that we are on the right track. In 2021, this earned us some important recognitions: DESPAR won the coveted Retailer of the Year award in the Supermarket category for the second year in a row, based on consumer votes”, he added. “DESPAR has also officially become a Historic Brand of national interest. Having operated in Italy since 1960, it was listed in a special register by the Ministry of Economic Development last year,” he concluded.
SPAR Italy has also set some major goals for 2022, such as growing turnover by over 5%. This strong growth is to be achieved through 82 new SPAR store openings and over €100 million in investments.
The focus on DESPAR Own Brand will remain strong, with further growth being expected and the development of 200 new products soon to be launched.
Source: DESPAR Italia
SPAR Italy, known locally as DESPAR Italia, was first granted the SPAR Brand’s licence in 1959. The first store opened in 1960. With it, SPAR became the first partnership of retailers and wholesalers to operate in the country. In addition, SPAR Italy 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 company achieves most of its turnover through these larger format stores, the independently owned neighbourhood supermarkets remain vital.