SPAR UAE work with government to ensure food security

April 12, 2020 IN THE CATEGORY: COVID-19

Having established a successful business in Abu Dhabi, during 2019 SPAR UAE also moved into the city of Dubai. As a result of the lockdown in a bid to reduce the impact of the corona virus COVID-19, the country has a curfew which has put pressure on continued stock replenishment in food retail. New restrictions introduced stipulate that only one member of the household is allowed to leave the home for essential shopping and they must always wear a mask.

Working in collaboration with the government, SPAR UAE is expanding its warehouse capacity to improve the stock levels available for all stores nationwide. For the 17 SPAR Supermarkets, the reduced opening hours has led to a 40% increase in basket size as customers secure enough ingredients for the home cooking traditional to this market as well as daily essentials, putting pressure on replenishment. With the approaching Ramadan season, shoppers are purchasing larger volumes in preparation for the holiday season.

In addition, the UAE government has provided 10,000m2 of warehouse space to SPAR partner Abu Dhabi Coop. Their plan is to ensure food security through planning 12 months stock requirements with physical holding of 120 days of stock which SPAR UAE and Abu Dhabi Coop will secure.

Revised retail processes

With the curfew leading to all food retailers closing their doors no later than 8:00 p.m. and unable to open before 06:00 a.m. since 26th March, retail operations processes were adapted to ensure fully stocked shelves for customers during opening hours. The rigorous cleaning procedures adopted in line with national regulations for COVID-19 have been incorporated into the revised processes.

With concern for the wellbeing and safety of both customers and colleagues, SPAR UAE have four working locations for office-based teams, whilst at retail level there are three teams with a separate stand-by team able to step in to support deep cleaning or if colleagues are quarantined. These measures ensure the continued smooth operations across distribution and retail in the two cities where SPAR UAE is meeting consumers’ needs.

Click & Collect and Online Shopping solutions

SPAR UAE supermarkets in Dubai and Abu Dhabi are offering a ‘’call and collection’’ solution, reducing the number of customers instore whilst still providing great and innovative customer service.

An online shopping solution is in operation, with a pureplay partner model using InstaShop and Elgrocer as their online partners. As has been seen in other markets, the demand for online delivery is high and currently lead time for deliveries by competitors is long; to alleviate this government has authorised the use of government approved (Roads and Transport Authority) taxi fleets to do customer deliveries (see example of successful integration by SPAR Hungary here).

Source: SPAR UAE


The first SPAR store was opened in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in 2012 after SPAR International granted the SPAR license to Abu Dhabi Co-operative Society (ADCOOPS), to develop the brand in this rapidly growing market.

SPAR UAE operates three SPAR formats: SPAR Hypermarket, SPAR Supermarket and SPAR Express. All stores have well developed fresh sections, demonstrating the intention to be ‘best in fresh’. The stores perform strongly and reflect the diverse needs of a multicultural society.