SPAR Netherlands enriches food retail landscape with first one-person shop

June 16, 2020 IN THE CATEGORY: Store openings

SPAR Netherlands is continuing to enrich the Dutch food retail landscape with a growing store network in a range of formats. Most recently, SPAR unveiled the first concept one-person shop in the country – and perhaps in the world. During the recent lockdown period, SPAR Netherlands retailers also continued to develop and open several new stores in highly strategic urban locations.

One-person store innovation
Made from a converted shipping container, the 18m2 mobile SPAR one-person store can be placed on any plot to provide easy access to food and beverages at any time of the day. Thanks to the self-scan checkout and one-person entry policy, this initiative can offer customers a convenient and safe shopping environment fully in line with social distancing norms. 

Although exact dates and places are yet to be announced, SPAR Netherlands is aiming to trial the solution in locations as varied as camping sites, beaches, and perhaps even boats.

Speaking during a festive unveiling event on Monday 15 June at SPAR Netherlands’ headquarters in Waalwijk, SPAR Netherlands CEO John van der Ent noted that the concept fits with SPAR’s strong tradition of community retailing.

“With this new initiative, SPAR continues its strong local involvement. With the SPAR one-person store, we can offer consumers a quick breakfast, tasty lunch, or a healthy snack in unexpected places and at surprising moments.”

Ready for a socially distanced society

As a mobile one-person shop, this initiative adapts perfectly to the “new normal”, according to van der Ent. Running the store requires just one SPAR team member to be present to take care of stocking and to ensure just one person enters the store at a time.

This year, most holiday-goers in the Netherlands will be celebrating summer in their own country.

“That is why we plan to take the SPAR one-person store on tour to tourist locations where shopping facilities may be lacking. This is how we prove our commitment and offer maximum convenience to our customers”, said van der Ent.

SPAR city Amsterdam Byzantium

SPAR recently also opened a new SPAR city in Byzantium, a mixed-use complex in the Museum Quarter in Amsterdam. Located between two popular spots in the capital – the Vondelpark and the Leidseplein – SPAR city Amsterdam Byzantium mainly provides convenience and fresh products. SPAR city stores are predominantly run by independent retailers and can be found in inner cities throughout the country.

SPAR city in Arnhem

On Thursday 21 May, SPAR Netherlands independent retailer Luke van Gelder opened his second SPAR store in Arnhem, one of the main cities in the East of the Netherlands. 

This new SPAR city store occupies a prime location opposite Arnhem City Hall. The store presents customers with a large choice of convenience products as well as a compact supermarket assortment catering to the fast-paced lifestyles of city dwellers. The store also offers a selection of grilled sandwiches provided by premium sandwich chain The Tosti Club.

SPAR city small in Utrecht
On 12 June, SPAR Netherlands debuted the SPAR city small, a contemporary convenience store of only 80m², in the centre of Utrecht, on the Bakkerstraat.

A growing number of people in the Netherlands only decide at the last minute what and where they want to eat. These consumers live and work mainly in the inner cities. They spend a lot of time out of the house and choose their meal times to suit their busy schedules.

The range offered at the new concept SPAR city small matches the changing lifestyles of these consumers, offering many smart meal solutions that can be consumed directly or just need heating up.

Key appointments
SPAR International announced on 3 June the appointment of John van der Ent, CEO of SPAR Netherlands, to the International SPAR Board. The Board provides strategic direction and guidance to support the development of the SPAR brand globally. 

Erwin Binneveld, a leading Dutch SPAR independent retailer, has been appointed to the International SPAR Guild. The Guild is a global council of SPAR retailers and wholesalers who represent the interest of SPAR Independent retailers worldwide.

Source: SPAR Netherlands

Read more news from SPAR Netherlands.

About SPAR Netherlands

The SPAR Brand was founded in the Netherlands in 1932 by the Dutch wholesaler, Adriaan van Well and 16 independent retailers. It was established as a voluntary chain of grocers under the name DESPAR – an acronym of a slogan created by van Well to describe the organisation: Door Eendrachtig Samenwerken Profiteren Allen Regelmatig, which translates in English to All benefit from joint co-operation. By the end of the 1950s, SPAR was the largest food organisation in the Netherlands.

The Head Office and Distribution Centre (DC) are located in Waalwijk, from where support is provided for the almost 400 stores in operation.