Increasing brand visibility
The goal of SPAR Portugal is to develop a network of SPAR Supermarkets throughout the mainland of Portugal and on the islands. SPAR has been able to expand into new cities and regions over the past few years by working with independent retailers keen to partner with SPAR Portugal, thereby enabling them to offer a retail brand which their customers recognise. The majority of stores are located in the popular tourist destinations of Lisbon, the Algarve, Madeira and the Azores, with a presence also seen in key mainland markets.
A major development has been the investment in company owned stores – an initiative that started in 2014. There are now 19 company owned stores in operation in the country, which act as flagships for the SPAR Brand and for independent retailer recruitment and the trialling of new SPAR products.
SPAR Portugal has been successful in acquiring an additional 12 AliSuper stores, all of which are located in the Algarve. The team are now converting these stores to the SPAR Neighborhood format. The stores in the Algarve will concentrate on the tourist market with strong ranges of imported and seasonal products. By expanding the number of company-owned SPAR Supermarkets, there is greatly increased brand visibility in this growing market.
Attention is also being given to developing new concepts such as Treehouse© Juice Bars, SPAR Cafés, and an extended Food-to-Go offer.
Improving warehouse capabilities
To meet the requirements of the rapidly expanding business, SPAR Portugal identified a new 6,000m2 site for its warehouse in Alverca Lisbon. With the support of SPAR International, an optimal warehouse layout was identified and transition plans and investment priorities were agreed. In January 2016, SPAR Portugal took occupation of the new warehouse, which resulted in an immediate improvement in operational processes and enabled continuous growth.
The new warehouse has clear processes in place with dedicated inbound and outbound areas. By investing further in the business through this expansion, SPAR Portugal is prepared for the future and can continue to grow in store numbers and assortment. SPAR Portugal will now be in a position to include more SKUs to be handled centrally through the warehouse. This is not only going to help develop the Distribution Centre operations but will also improve the benefits for independent retailers licensed to operate the SPAR Brand in the country.
Future development plans include the installation of a centralised chilled operations system for the warehouse, as well as the establishment of a regional warehouse on the Azores, which is currently being planned with the SPAR International team.