In this issue of Contact, we are delighted to share the 2018 SPAR worldwide results. In another year of strong growth, the brand recorded global sales of €35.8 billion – an increase of 5.4% on 2017. This strong performance has continued in the first half of 2019, with fantastic store openings and ongoing SPAR Partner developments around the world. With all that’s been achieved so far, the brand looks set for yet another solid year of success and growth. Turning the focus back to this issue, we are pleased to share a special feature on SPAR Slovenia, hosts of the 2019 International SPAR Congress, which we will report on in more detail in the next edition. We also highlight two world-class stores from SPAR China’s Partner in Guangdong Province and look at the plans in place for growth in the Southern European countries of Greece, Cyprus, and Malta. As always, we are proud to recognise the strength of our people and in this issue, we share the stories of two SPAR store managers from the south of Italy and of Local Champion, Peter McBride, one of Northern Ireland’s most successful independent SPAR retailers. Other key stories include a summary of the hugely successful European Athletics Indoor Championships in Glasgow in March and a recap of an HR Masterclass on coaching – a new addition to this year’s SPAR HR Conference. Finally, in addition to rounding up the latest SPAR news from around the world, we report on the successful roll-out of the highly sought-after SPAR Natural concept in South Africa. To read these and other stories about SPAR worldwide, follow this link.