SPAR Scotland hailed as Symbol Group of the Year

November 2, 2021 IN THE CATEGORY: Awards and prizes

SPAR Scotland was named SLR Symbol Group of the Year at the Scottish Local Retailer of the Year Awards 2021, held last week. Organised by Scottish Local Retailer, Scotland’s leading magazine for community stores, the Awards saw dozens of retailers and symbol groups from across the country recognised and rewarded for their heroic efforts during the COVID-19 pandemic.

During the prolonged pandemic, these retailers and groups kept communities stocked with daily essentials and proved a focal point for the many customers who came to rely on them more than ever before.

Operated by CJ Lang & Son, SPAR Scotland services around 350 community stores in Scotland. The judging panel hailed the company as “a very fine example of a Scottish world-class business.”

SPAR Scotland has been transformed by CEO Colin McLean and his new management team in the last three years. Last week, the company announced its latest set of accounts showing turnover up almost 10% and profits up to £3 million (€3.54 million). 

The company’s efforts over the last year specifically were recognised at last night’s ceremony. 

SLR Publisher Antony Begley commented: “It’s no exaggeration to say that just a few short years ago, SPAR Scotland was in very poor shape, with many observers wondering whether the business would even survive. What Colin McLean and his team have achieved in such a short space of time is nothing short of remarkable – and that was fully understood and recognised by our experienced judging panel who share over 260 years combined experience in the local retailing sector.”

“Despite the enormous pressures and challenges of COVID-19, SPAR Scotland has stuck to its original five-year recovery plan. It has delivered year-on-year growth with 2020 being a particularly successful year, and praise must go to every one of the 1,700 staff at SPAR Scotland.”. 

“There is hardly a community in Scotland that hasn’t benefited directly from that vision, commitment and passion over the last 18 months. The sleeping giant has re-awoken. The team at the company have built a remarkably solid platform upon which to build long into the future,” Antony Begley added.

Source: SPAR UK

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The UK became a SPAR member in 1956 when SPAR International granted the SPAR licence to a group of independent wholesalers. There are now five regional partners in the UK. A central office in London provides national marketing and buying services for the group.

SPAR has led the highly competitive convenience market in the UK for many years. Always innovative, the five regional partners have continued to grow the brand. SPAR UK comprises independently owned licensed retailers and company-owned stores. These include forecourts, airports, train stations, city centres, and local neighbourhood stores.

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