The first SPAR China Congress kicks off today (Tuesday 18 October) in Weihai, a beautiful coastal city on the tip of the Shangdong Peninsula. SPAR International Board members, SPAR colleagues from across China, as well as guest speakers and strategic partners have been invited to join the Congress, the most significant event for SPAR China Managing Director, Yoep Man, since taking office in January.
The three-day long Congress is a distinguished gathering of retail experts and senior management from China and abroad. SPAR China Partners will have an opportunity to share best practice from each other and the international SPAR Partners. Also in attendance are Graham O’Connor, Chairman of SPAR International & SPAR South Africa; Peter Blakemore, Chairman of A F Blakemore UK, Tobias Wasmuht, Managing Director of SPAR International, Paul Klotz, Chairman of SPAR Italy and Knut Johansson, Chairman of SPAR Norway.
Delegates will visit a number of SPAR stores and the food production centre in Weihai, a great opportunity to see the rapid expansion of formats and instore product offer which is inherent to the market. Since entering China in 2004, SPAR has adhered to the brand philosophy of freshness, choice, value and service, focusing on the development of the SPAR Hypermarket, SPAR Supermarket, SPAR Neighborhood and SPAR Express formats. Great support has been received from many of the SPAR Partners around the world during the development of the strong SPAR operation which reported results at end 2015 of €1.9 billion turnover from 347 stores covering 990,000m2. Investment continues in not only retail but also supply chain expansion across all of the regions in which SPAR trades.
“We seek to grow and expand in unity with all our SPAR Partners by sharing our resources and knowledge, ‘Better Together’, just like the theme of the SPAR China Congress. The success of the Congress will help drive the booming growth of our partners and the China retail market,” said Yoep Man.
A SPAR International Board meeting is also taking place this week in Weihai, enabling the Board of Directors to meet with the Partners from SPAR China and see the development of the brand in this high potential market first-hand.