SPAR UK highlights social distancing measures to protect staff and customers

March 27, 2020 IN THE CATEGORY: COVID-19

To help safeguard colleagues and everyone else around them, SPAR stores around the UK have put in place a range of new social distancing measures for anyone who enters its shops in line with Government recommendations.

“We are asking customers to work with us on the new social distancing measures the Government has provided us with to keep each other safe”, said Louise Hoste, SPAR UK Managing Director.

“Our local SPAR stores play a crucial role in communities the length and breadth of the country. We are all in this together, and the safety of our staff and customers is very important to us”, she added.

The new social distancing measures include:

  • Making disposable gloves and paper towels available where needed in stores and forecourts
  • Stores are providing extra cleaning products for cleaning baskets, countertops, ATMs and chip and pin machines where applicable
  • Where possible stores will use every other till point to keep customers and colleagues a safe distance apart
  • Specially designated social distancing markings installed in front of till points
  • Customers encouraged to use contactless payments where possible
  • Customers asked to pay with card if possible
  • Special markings installed throughout stores to showcase two-metre spacing to customers
  • In-store communication on SPAR radio or posters to show customers how to maintain social distancing while shopping
  • Use of floor signage to promote social distancing
  • Protective Perspex screens added at store till points including Post Office combination tills
  • Encouraging customers to bring their own cups for hot drinks
  • Encouraging store staff to limit the amount of customers allowed into the store at any time to ensure social distancing measures are followed
  • Where possible special markings installed outside stores highlighting social distances of two meters

“We understand how difficult it is to ask customers to change their behaviour, but we are asking our customers to assist us with these measures so we can keep our retail staff and customers safe and consequently allow our SPAR stores to serve their communities”, Louise Hoste said.

Staff at SPAR stores around the UK have been working tirelessly to support their local communities by making sure stores have been well stocked from a good supply from each of the five SPAR wholesalers.

SPAR stores have also been going out of their way by offering a number of different services to their local communities. Initiatives include:

  • Home delivery services
  •  Charitable donations to those in need
  • Click & collect services
  • Product donations and care packages
  • Supporting foodbanks
  • Providing NHS staff with free hot drinks
  • Helping the elderly and vulnerable
  • Supporting local producers and suppliers
  • Keeping the shelves stocked
  • Updating customers about stock availability through their own social media channels
  • Offering customers a pleasant shopping experience

Hoste added: “We are providing our SPAR stores with a huge amount of additional resource to help communicate the Governments advice on how to maintain social distancing. We recognise the important role our stores play in local communities at this time, and we are not only ensuring a constant supply of the core essential products consumers need, but we are also making sure staff and customers are well cared for. We serve 2,600 local SPAR stores around the UK, who are supporting the community and there for you.”

Source: 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.