The reopening of both stores took place after a complete makeover in February. Ilona Costermans took over her parents’ business, SPAR Achterhoek, together with her brother-in-law Dennis. Sylvia Vanderbroucke took over her parents store, SPAR Sint-Idesbald. The renovations included upgraded design and improved fresh offering, giving customers a better shopping experience.
Ilona Costermans is the fifth generation of her family running the store that will celebrate its 150 year anniversary in 2023. Ilona and Dennis further extended the sales area to increase the product offer for customers. “Achterbroek is a growing village with young, dynamic people, and we want to capitalise on this”, Ilona said.
All meat and cold cuts are prepared and packaged instore. The fresh section now offers freshly prepared meals as well as wider fruit and veg choices. The bakery has a rotary oven, enabling daily production of delicious pastries. The duo work together with a team of 7 full-time colleagues.
The expansion also took into account the store’s environmental footprint, integrating an environmentally-friendly CO2 installation that cools all the refrigerators. All forms of generated heat is recovered to heat both the shop itself and the sanitary water. “We try to keep transports to an absolute minimum,” says Dennis. “The fewer trucks on the road, the better for our planet.”
The Vandenbroucke’s SPAR family store, founded in 1969, reopened its doors after a three-week renovation. Daughter Sylvia joined the family business in 2000, and not only changed the store name, but also invested in modernisation when she took over.
The shopping experience was improved with a revised layout and the entire store was revamped. An extensive fruit and vegetable offer, selection of good quality wines, range of regional beers, and a delicious cheese counter are at the heart of the new concept. A new bakery with proving ovens was added, lower racking which allow clear visibility of all departments installed, and the floor and ceiling were replaced.
Sylvia heads up a team of 17 permanent employees and 25 student workers. “We have many French-speaking customers, so our team speak both languages. The younger and more experienced colleagues work well together,” said Sylvia.
Read more about SPAR in Belgium
SPAR was launched in Belgium in 1947, representing the first step in the brand’s international development. Two partners – Retail Partners Colruyt Group and Lambrechts – now operate over 300 SPAR branded stores across the country.
SPAR Retail Partners Colruyt Group, which operates both the SPAR and EUROSPAR formats, accounts for over 80% of total SPAR sales generated through a combination of company-owned and independently operated stores. SPAR Lambrechts focuses on serving customers with the SPAR and SPAR Express formats, supporting independent retailers.