SPAR Scotland commits to supporting local businesses

April 27, 2020 IN THE CATEGORY: COVID-19, Responsible retailing

As many areas of convenience retail are experiencing change, the COVID-19 pandemic is transforming the way SPAR wholesaler for Scotland CJ Lang & Son Ltd works with local suppliers. As the pandemic hit the country, SPAR Scotland took the time to speak to its existing local supplier base to see what they could do to support them – particularly those who were involved in the catering industry.  

SPAR Scotland works with over 150 local Scottish suppliers at any given time. As shoppers suddenly re-discovered the importance of shopping and supporting local, the knock-on effect of this in many cases was the adjustment of orders to local suppliers to help them maintain their volumes. 

“Such developments are not only assisting local businesses during this time of uncertainty, but it has allowed us to maintain a regular flow of local products to our SPAR stores right across Scotland”, said Colin McLean, CEO of SPAR Scotland. 

The supply chain could have been profoundly affected, but the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the opportunity of committing to local Scottish businesses. 

“With local bakers, in particular, we have worked with them to adapt and reduce their product ranges to our stores – this has allowed them to focus on core lines like local bread and rolls whilst increasing volumes and adhering to the strict 2m distancing rules”, said Colin McLean.

“The majority of products are coming through our central distribution centre in Dundee – this gives us the opportunity to deliver across all SPAR stores in Scotland, ensuring equity of supply. Many local bakers have closed their own retail units and where possible we have stepped in and increased volumes of local bread, morning rolls, pastries, and pies.”

Crises can often lead us to new ways of thinking, and according to Scotland Food & Drink UK Market Development Director Lucy Husband, we are seeing the convenience sector rising to the challenge of meeting the upturn in demand as people explore their local area. 

“Collaboration like this takes effort and planning, and we applaud the fantastic support the CJ Lang team has given to the Scottish supply base. The work being done now will reap benefits beyond this challenging period as consumers habits change, and they look to stay connected to the local food and drink available on their doorstep”, Lucy Husband said.

Source: SPAR Scotland
Read more about SPAR UK


The UK became a member of SPAR in 1956 when a group of independent wholesalers was granted the SPAR licence by SPAR International. There are five regional partners in the UK with strategically placed Distribution Centres in each region. A central office, located in London, provides national marketing and buying services for the group and supports the development of the brand.

SPAR has led the convenience market in the UK for many years but has faced increasing competition. Always innovative, the five regional partners have continued to grow the brand. Throughout the UK, a combination of independently-owned licensed retailers and company-owned stores can be found, spanning forecourts, airports, train stations, city centres, and local neighbourhoods.

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