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SPAR Netherlands supports store growth with new automated DC

September 12, 2019 IN THE CATEGORY: Supply Chain

SPAR Netherlands has opened a world-class Distribution Centre (DC), following the acquisition of a semi-automated warehouse next to its current DC in Waalwijk. The new DC has increased its storage and picking capabilities, as well as its operating efficiency – helping to service the growing number of SPAR stores and independent retailers in the country.

The semi-automated SPAR warehouse has improved process flows and is helping SPAR Netherlands achieve higher levels of service. By expanding the number of picking stations in the DC, SPAR Netherlands is now able to offer a broader range of products to retailers and provide better working conditions for its warehouse employees. The SPAR DC in Waalwijk has grown in size from 22,500m2 to 37,400m2, following the acquisition of the semi-automated warehouse.

SPAR Express petrol forecourt stores have been growing at a particularly fast pace since the signing of a partnership deal between SPAR Netherlands and EG Group – operators of a large network of Esso and Texaco forecourts in the Netherlands. The partnership has seen the conversion of existing forecourt stores to the SPAR Express format.

As of July 2019, SPAR Netherlands has 190 SPAR neighbourhood supermarkets, 67 SPAR stores located in city centres, university campuses, holiday parks and campsites as well as 139 SPAR Express stores. By the end of this year, a further 21 Esso and 25 Texaco forecourt stores will be converted to the SPAR Express format.

In an interview with Dutch TV channel RTL Z, CEO of SPAR Netherlands, John Van der Ent confirmed that retailers and young entrepreneurs are showing a strong interest in becoming part of the SPAR network: “Many young entrepreneurs between the age of 25 and 35 are interested in joining us.”

Van der Ent added that he is in discussion with major commercial enterprises: “For example, it can be interesting for a retailer to open a SPAR store in a hospital or close to a large office building.”

With almost 400 stores in the Netherlands, SPAR is the go-to convenience brand for local, daily shopping. Moving forwards, firm plans are in place to roll out 70 SPAR Express stores and more city stores, further increasing the brand’s presence and visibility across the country. Thanks to its strong logistics capabilities, SPAR Netherlands is well placed to support this on-going growth.

Source: SPAR Netherlands

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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.

Today, SPAR Netherlands is a private company, owned by Sligro (45%), Sperwer (45%) and the SPAR independent retailers (10%). The Head Office and Distribution Centre (DC) are located in Waalwijk, from where support is provided for the almost 400 stores in operation.