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SPAR supports independent retailer in successful new venture

January 29, 2016 IN THE CATEGORY: Store openings

  • SPAR supports independent retailer in successful new venture

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Mr Olivier Martelle opened a new SPAR supermarket in Maubeuge, a town near Lille in the North of France in July 2014.

Prior to the store opening, teams from SPAR France assisted Olivier Martelle with merchandising the 200m² convenience store. One year after opening, Olivier Martelle owns the business and has exceeded the budgeted income for the first 14 months of operation.

Olivier used to work as a production manager at a printing company but – having lost his job due to the changes in the print industry resulting in his employer going bankrupt – he sought to reinvent his career.

“I had been thinking of starting up my own business for a while,” he began. After researching opportunities in the food retail sector, he chose to become a SPAR retailer. “I realised there were no convenience stores in my hometown” he continued.
In consultation with SPAR France, a location was selected in a shopping street, in the centre of a town where many shops have closed, in an area with a large elderly population. “I felt that my SPAR convenience store would respond to a real need”, Mr Martelle underlines.

Establishing the business took some time, with almost one year passing from the initial site visit to the actual opening. During this time he received training at a SPAR store and obtained the remaining financing to supplement his own contribution, with total investment of €170,000 being available. Additionally, the SPAR France licence holder, Casino, supported him with a supplementary start-up sum to complement the funds available and ensure a viable start-up fund.

Prior to the store opening teams from SPAR France assisted Olivier Martelle with merchandising the 200m² convenience store. One year after opening, Olivier Martelle owns the business and has exceeded the budgeted income for the first 14 months of operation, through to 30 September.

“I have largely exceeded my budgeted income because the opening of a SPAR convenience store in the city centre responded to the neighbourhood’s needs”, Martelle points out.

“Many people who used to rely on others to be driven out of town to do their grocery shopping are now able to shop locally, thereby regaining their independence. My SPAR store also attracts many students and school children at lunchtime, parents in the afternoon and in the evening’s commuters returning home from work.”

Olivier Martelle works together with his wife and an employee. He is planning to recruit another member of staff so that he can have some free time. In the meantime, daily store operations take up a significant amount of work: from 6 am to 9 pm, every day. “I am used to working hard”, Olivier Martelle concludes. “Having a clean store, which is always tidy and well-stocked, has earned me many customers”.