SPAR is an international group of independently owned and operated retailers and wholesalers who work together in partnership under the SPAR Brand to provide a high quality, value for money shopping experience for the communities we serve. Since the first store in 1932, SPAR has grown rapidly for 87 years, and now operates over 13,000 stores in 48 countries of 4 continents, becoming the world’s largest voluntary food retail chain.
In 2004, SPAR entered China market, and has been helping Chinese local retailers to develop voluntary retail chain model, with 8 partners now in Shandong, Guangdong, Beijing, Sichuan, Henan, Hebei (Zhangjiakou & Shijiazhuang) and Yunnan.
In 2018, after 15 years’ logistics & operations steady development, SPAR China partners jointly established a new Supply Chain company, aiming to further support partners’ store expansion, product competitiveness via joint negotiation & purchasing.
>> SPAR History
SPAR earliest story is actually the story of Will, a visionary in Dutch wholesalers. He believes that “Unity is Strength” – the individual wholesalers and retailers are certainly higher than singles together to do better. This simple but powerful philosophy inspired him. The early 20th century, a time when 30 major brands of foreign supermarket chains in Europe are expanding rapidly. As a counter-attack in 1932, the name SPAR to DESPAR became available. The name comes from the Dutch “Door Eendrachtig Samenwerken Profiteren Allen Regelmatig” This sentence acronym, translated into English is: “Joint Efforts, We Benefit.” SPAR in Dutch means cedar, and has been from the beginning of the establishment SPAR’s symbol of the organization.
>> SPAR Internationalization
SPAR’s 30 years of the 20th century in the Netherlands continue to develop and was introduced in 1947 to Belgium, which entered the international. In the late 20th century, the DESPAR abbreviation name evolved into SPAR. SPAR International was established in 1953 to assist in SPAR’s concept to the world. During the 20th century, SPAR made a rapid expansion in Europe. Since 1959, including wholesalers and retailers, the SPAR family has been distributed to nine countries. Held in the Netherlands in 1955, the first SPAR International Annual Meeting took place, and was a complete success. The highlight of the annual SPAR ambition was to move out of Europe and become international; a global organization.
>> SPAR’s Global Expansion
Over the next 20 years, SPAR’s sustainable development moved into Africa and Asia, SPAR wholesalers and retailers for the concept of partnership in these two continents once again being recognized. During this period, the SPAR family spread across three continents to 14 member states. SPAR Since 2000, SPAR has entered the major developed countries in Asia, Russia, China and India, as well as in Central and Eastern Europe and Africa. SPAR achieved in continuing existing market success, and there has been a new national system of SPAR expressed interest, which confirms that the SPAR cooperation is a model for the modern food retailing industry.
As the custodian of the SPAR brand, SPAR International in Amsterdam functions as a platform for the exchange of ideas and information between the SPAR organizations world wide. These objectives support the SPAR International Mission statement: To ensure that SPAR remains the world’s largest supermarket chain and to build SPAR as a global brand. To achieve these two statements we use our key strength which is the unique partnership of retailers and wholesalers at local, national and international levels. By working together we achieve our goals. In support of this co-operation SPAR International provides its members with services as the exchange of know-how, standardisation projects, buying services, private label development, marketing activities and brand protection. In addition we also organize a series of congresses and seminars on an annual basis.
>> The Winning Strategies
To support our Mission Statement we designed The Winning Strategies. These six strategies give us a clear focus on and provide the basis or our past and future success. Each individual strategy plays an important role in enabling SPAR to deliver value to all our stakeholders and in combination all six strategies will ensure the sustained growth of the SPAR business for the next decade.
1. Driving Value:Our retail strategy is to have a strongly focussed price aggressive policy. The base for this strategy is a powerful promotional programme, an extensive SPAR private label range and a price aggressive discount range.
2. Driving Expansion: A key component of our winning strategy is expansion. We need to continue to invest in the redevelopment and expansion of our store portfolios. Besides expending in Africa, our key focus is on the large developing markets of China, India and Russia.
3. Developing the SPAR Retail Formats: Our multi-format strategy has driven growth and increased market share. We will continue to focus on renewing the formats in terms of layout and design to make sure we adopt and integrate the best international practice into all our stores.
4. Improving the Efficiency of Operations: To ensure we have the highest level of efficiency at the heart of offering real value to our customers, SPAR countries have invested in developing state-of-the-art Distribution Centres. SPAR members are constantly expanding and upgrading their warehouses to ensure they operate at maximum efficiency and lowest costs in the food retail supply chain.
5. Growing Sustainably: Sustainability remains a key strategy for the worldwide SPAR organisation. The SPAR approach to sustainability has moved from informal to formal, recognising how serious sustainability is to our customers.
6. Keeping to our Core Values: The basis of SPAR is partnership at all levels of our organization; local, national and international. All our activities are underpinned by our core values of the free exchange of knowledge and information. This enables our members to learn from their more experienced colleagues. The exchange of knowledge and information is a competitive advantage of SPAR and it enables us to quickly implement best practice throughout the SPAR world.
SPAR entered China in 2004 with the invitation of Ministry of Commerce PRC and CCFA, supports independently owned regional retailers China in developing volunteering retail chains. SPAR initiated a competitive mode with international retailers for China independent regional retailers. Today SPAR China operates over 297 stores with 540,000 sqm of selling space in 8 provinces and cities in China. SPAR is now a major employer in China, with over 50,000 employees. There are now 8 Distribution Centres within the SPAR Partner network in China, reflecting ongoing investment into the development of a truly modern supply chain.
SPAR China’s central office was established in Shanghai in 2007. SPAR China unites regional independent regional retail chains into the SPAR China Group. Together the group harnesses joint economies of scale and shares resources on a local and international basis. SPAR China supports these locally owned and operated chains to compete and develop in the face of national and international competition. Through various approaches, SPAR China provides partners with full service of market research, store design, category management, customer management, advanced operation practice, international procurement platform, distribution center, supply chain optimization, private label development, a class brand joint procurement, training, marketing, and communications.
Jiajiayue Group Co., Ltd. is a comprehensive retailer which mainly runs supermarket chain stores, supported by regional integrated logistics, with the development of modern agricultural production bases and food processing chain as the guarantee, and the full supply chain and multi-formats with very strong fresh food characteristics. It has more than 750 direct-owned chain stores, covering more than 40 cities and counties in Shandong Province and Zhangjiakou city of Hebei Province, forming hypermarkets, supermarkets, department stores, shopping malls, boutique supermarkets, community stores, rural stores, convenience stores, etc. The multi-formats combination has achieved the goal of “Into the Community, Close to Life, Creating a 10-minute Life Circle” and established a leading role in the industry in Shandong Province. The Company has 4 modern ambient Distribution Centers and 5 fresh Distribution Centers, with a total area of more than 200,000 square meters, forming a 2.5-hour distribution circle in Shandong Province, ensuring efficient delivery of logistics to covered stores, enabling the Company to penetrate into various regions of the province and is irreplaceable in the field of FMCG in the local market. The company pioneered the “Farm-Supermarket Joint” model in the country, and established long-term and stable cooperative relations with more than 200 rural cooperatives. More than 80% of fresh products are direct-purchased from production bases. It received honors of the “National 100 Cities 10,000 Shops No-Counterfeiting Movement Demonstration Store”, “National Farm Supermarket Joint Project First Pilot Enterprises”, “Agricultural Industrialization National Key Leading Enterprise”, “China Retail Best Employers”, “Shandong Province Governor Quality Award” and “National Civilized Unit”. In December 2016, the company was listed on the main board of the Shanghai Stock Exchange and officially entered the capital market.
Guangdong Jia Rong Supermarket Co. Ltd was founded in 1992. It is a comprehensive modern retailer with cross-regional and multi formats in business. It has accumulated a number of honors, including leading commercial and trading enterprise of Dongguan city, enterprise with class A creditworthiness in food health credit, Model enterprise selling clearly-priced products, enterprise with high credit, Trustworthy enterprise to customers, top 10 creation awards of Dongguan city, and excellent chain store of 10 years (1996-2006), and so on. Guangdong Jia Rong Supermarket Co. Ltd applied for joining SPAR Voluntary Chain organization and gained SPAR license from SPAR International in November 2006. Three SPAR stores with hypermarket and supermarket formats were opened at one day at the same year. SPAR Guangdong also attracted several small and medium-sized local retailer to sub-licensed from SPAR Guangdong and enhance SPAR brand’s presence in many cities and districts in Guangdong province.
Beijing Huaguan trading Co. Ltd owns total capital of 300 million yuan and selling space of 5,000 square kilometers, which is a large comprehensive chain group with multi-format such as shopping mall, supermarket, convenience store, fresh supermarket and independent stores. Focusing on the formats of shopping mall and chain stores, it operates 54 chain stores and 328 independent stores covering Fangshan district, Fengtai district, Yizhuang area and extends as far as Zhuzhou located in its neighbor province Hebei. In January 2010 Beijing Huaguan became the latest SPAR partner in China. SPAR China has announced the opening of a landmark store, with the debut of SPAR’s first store in capital city Beijing – marking the 100th store to open in the country. The opening of the SPAR hypermarket in Beijing demonstrated SPAR’s potential for even further expansion in China.
Sichuan Dehui Commercial Co. Ltd (Hereinafter referred to as Dehui), founded in 2000, featuring with chain store as main format, the other business format includes convenience store, agricultural product processing, logistics and distribution and more. Headquarter locates at Pixian County Modern Industrial Zone of Chengdu city, with assets of several hundred million yuan and over 3,500 employees. By April 2012, Dehui operates 44 directly-run stores distributing cover 10 cities ( or autonomous prefecture), and 27 cities or counties (districts). Total selling space of the above mentioned stores is over 120,000 square meters. It also owns DC & fresh processing center in the modern industrial zone with a size of 20,000 square meters. Dehui has accumulated a number of honors, including, Trustable Company to Customers, Top Tax Payer, National pilot unit of from farmer to stores project, the top 30 retailers of year 2011 in Sichuan province and top 100 enterprises in Chengdu city.Read more… Sichuan Dehui Commercial Co. Ltd, a leading Sichuan based retailer joined the SPAR group to reap the advantages of international SPAR retail brand and benefit from the expertise of an organization with over 80 years experience and over 12,000 stores in 37 countries worldwide.
Henan Kaifeng Sanmao Industry Group, Chinese AAA Class Credit Rating enterprises, famous brand of Henan Province, starts its business in year 1993. After over 20 years’ development, the group today operates hundreds of chain units with over 10,000 employees. It created over 30 branches which are mostly involving in the business of trade, culture, travel, leisure and health, logistic, food processing, commercial property, e-commerce, investment and finance. Sanmao Group today has 75 retail stores covering the formats of cash & carry, hypermarket, supermarket and CVS with a total retail turnover RMB 1.1 billion.
Fuxiang Investment Group was found in 1992 and became a large retailing corporation with assets valued RMB 200 million after decades of development. In 2006, joined “China Ten Thousand Villages and Towns ” program as a local leading corporation who owns 128 chained retail stores, representing 85% of local market presence. In 2009, established Fuxiang Shopping Square and Fuxiang Century City (a Residential and Commercial Program) with total construction area of 62,000 sqm, featuring with supermarkets, commercial buildings, food & beverage business, hotels, office buildings, compound, which is a well recognized “landmark” project. In August 2015, Fuxiang invested and launched a new store at urban of Zhangjiakou, offering more than 200 jobs and increasing tax payment RMB 1 million each year. In September 2015, Fuxiang invested and launched another new store at rural area, Guyuan County, Zhangjiakou, offering more than 100 jobs and taking a big step forward for its business expansion. In 2015, New Distribution Center established and put into operation. In 2015, acquired the land for Fuxiang Production Center and established the Center successfully. In July 2016, Fuxiang Group signed license agreement with SPAR and formally joined SPAR family.
Anning Jinfang Commercial Group, established in 1995, is a Chinese local retailing corporation that operates as a chain of department stores, hypermarkets, lifestyle supermarkets, and community-based grocery stores. Headquartered in Kunming, Yunnan. As of the end of 2016, Anning Jinfang has one Premium Department Store, one Forest Spring Resort, three Hypermarkets (over 6000sqm), 12 Shopping Centers (2000-6000sqm), two Supermarkets (1000-2000sqm), and 15 Community-based Stores (100-300sqm) in Yunan province, and owns more than 5,000 employees. As one of the largest grocery retailer in the Yunnan province, Anning Jinfang acquired the License of SPAR in April 2017 to invest retail business in Yunnan province and four regions of Guizhou, the neighboring province. The first SPAR store in Yunnan was officially launched on Feburary 8 2018.
Pure Value owned the vision of providing high-quality, authentic and affordable consumer goods to families in rural China using the extensive Pure Value network. To this, Pure Value brings an advanced logistics platform. A scalable, efficient and reliable supply chain equipped with in-time ordering and advanced management methods are being rolled out to towns and rural. It’s starting small – by China standards – with more than 50,000 rural stores in Henan Province. The goal is to ultimately deliver a convenient shopping experience for 281 million rural consumers across 10 provinces.