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SPAR Italy continues investing in supply chain

May 15, 2020 IN THE CATEGORY: COVID-19, Supply Chain

Following the release of its annual results, DESPAR Italia announces its plans to continue investing in 2020, through the launch of three new Distribution Centres and an €80 million investment in the modernisation of 80 SPAR stores.

Distribution Centres

One of the main supply chain developments, Agrologic, is a new Distribution Centre that is being developed by Aspiag Service in Monselice, Padua. Requiring a €180 million investment, Agrologic will cover an area of over 320,000m2, 120,000m2 of which will be roofed.

The first section of Agrologic, a 14,000m2 meat processing plant, has already become operative. Work is currently being pursued in compliance with Covid-19 regulations to complete the next 18,000m2 section that is soon to be opened, comprising a fruit and vegetables warehouse, and a cheese and cold meat packaging facility.

DESPAR Partner Ergon is opening a new logistic hub in Catania, Sicily, while a third Distribution Centre developed by Aspiag Service in Bologna will service retailers in the whole of the Italian peninsula. This puts DESPAR in a position to establish new partnerships in central regions such as Tuscany, Umbria, Marche and Lazio where the brand aims to expand its retail footprint. The new Distribution Centres will also strengthen the supply chain in the 16 regions where the current seven DESPAR partners operate the SPAR brand.

Adapting to the current climate

While Covid-19 has brought an average increase in sales of 7%, DESPAR Italia is preparing for possible repercussions of a downturn in the economy. To ensure controlled prices of basic products and commodities to its customers, SPAR Italy has chosen to freeze the prices of a DESPAR branded product basket until the end of the year.

During 2020, private label will continue to play an important role, with a new brand of convenience food products for immediate consumption, DESPAR Enjoy, to be added to the 16 existing SPAR brands on the market. Partnerships with local agri-food suppliers will also remain a great focus this year to ensure the supply of key local products to SPAR stores in Italy.

Source: DESPAR Italia

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About SPAR Italy

SPAR International first granted a licence for the operation of the SPAR Brand to SPAR Italy in 1959. The first store opened in the latter part of 1960 and with it, SPAR became the first partnership of retailers and wholesalers to operate in Italy. 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.