The world’s largest food retail voluntary chain, SPAR International, has reported sales of €39.8 billion for the year ending December 31st 2020, representing a 7.4% increase in revenue at constant currency values.
At the end of the year there were 13,501 SPAR branded stores operating across 48 markets worldwide in five regions. The brand continued its expansion into new markets launching in Ghana in 2020, with 10 new stores operational by the end of the year. Despite the challenges of operating through the COVID-19 pandemic, the majority of SPAR countries reported strong growth. Tobias Wasmuht, CEO of SPAR International said: “The response to the COVID-19 pandemic succeeded in highlighting the collective strength of the SPAR worldwide organisation, the competitive advantages of the SPAR multi-format strategy and the critical role of independent retailing in societies and communities across the globe.”
Regional performance highlights during the year include:
In the Middle East, SPAR’s performance was characterised by exceptional sales growth for SPAR Oman (+25%) and SPAR Qatar (82.5%). The UAE remains SPAR’s largest market in the region and grew by 2.1% in the year.
Commenting on the 2020 results, Tobias Wasmuht, CEO of SPAR International said: “Last year was very much characterised by the impact of the global COVID-19 pandemic and its severe consequences, but it was also a year which saw accelerated growth as a result of the dedication and focus of our highly committed SPAR colleagues across all parts of our global SPAR network. The terrible impact of the pandemic on a global scale and the rapid pace of its spread across multiple countries could not have been predicted and, as such, found us having to respond with great urgency and speed. However, crisis situations do invariably bring out the best in people and we at SPAR can be proud of the astounding selfless and brave response of the SPAR worldwide organisation.
“Our continuous compound annual growth of 5.64% in the period 2016-2020 creates a strong platform to build from for the future and indicates that our ‘Better Together’ strategy continues to deliver sustainable growth. Since 2016, this strategy has delivered SPAR global sales growth of 24.54%, global store footprint growth of 956 additional stores and a total retail sales area increase of 3%.
“Performance to date this year gives an indication of the key role SPAR stores have played as critical lifelines for local communities throughout the crisis. SPAR, as a leading global retailer, has a major responsibility and an essential function to fulfil. We worked hard throughout the year to maintain the supply of products to our stores, to make sure our stores were safe and secure, whilst also scaling up our online channels and helping the wider communities we support in large scale and innovative ways.”
Mr. Wasmuht added: “As we look to the future, we do so with confidence. SPAR has shown great resilience during the crisis of 2020 and has prospered and grown. With accelerated developments in retail and across our supply chain, we are well placed to build on this strong foundation. A key positive factor of the last year has been the benefits of close international cooperation wrought by new, remote ways of working. The advantages of this intensity of cooperation are beneficial to all in SPAR as we increasingly reap the benefits of our international presence and scale, whilst adding purposeful value to the local communities we serve.”
To read the online 2020 Annual Report, click here.
SPAR International is the world’s largest food retail voluntary chain operating over 13,500 stores worldwide and employing 410,000 people. In 2020, the global retail turnover from 48 countries was €39.8 billion. The 2020 International SPAR Annual Report is available here.
SPAR International unites and operates in partnership with independent retailers by working together to share global scale and expertise to enhance the competitiveness of its retail partners worldwide and build the SPAR Brand internationally.