SPAR International has announced a third consecutive year of outstanding sales growth despite global recession, with retail sales for the period from 1 January to 31 December 2011 up 4.6% on 2010.
SPAR's worldwide retail sales grew by €1.36 billion in 2011, leading to overall sales of €31.1 billion and a cumulative three year retail sales increase of 16%.
Announcing the results at the 57th International SPAR Congress in Sun City, South Africa, Dr. Gordon Campbell, Managing Director of SPAR International, said the SPAR multi-format retail strategy had played a key role in sales growth."Consumers are making less shopping trips and prefer to shop nearer to home, and we have met this trend with moves into convenience retailing in city centre and petrol forecourt stores in a number of SPAR countries," said Dr Campbell."We are responding to consumer needs with our multi-format retail strategy, which meets all shopping missions from full weekly shopping for the family to stock up, to daily fresh products to express shopping for convenience items and food to go."
SPAR International met another key expansion milestone in 2011, with its move into the Middle East. The first SPAR supermarket opened in the United Arab Emirates in Abu Dhabi and will provide the platform for further expansion in the region. Qatar will soon become the 37th SPAR country with its first SPAR supermarket opening later this year.
A number of countries saw exceptional growth in 2011.SPAR South Africa put in a very strong performance, with retail sales growth of 8%. SPAR also performed well across Europe with excellent sales results in Italy (+6.2%), Austria (+4.5%), Belgium (+3.9%) and Spain (+3.0%), driven by a mixture of strategies including new store openings, and a comprehensive programme of store upgrades and improving store standards.
The newer SPAR countries also had a fantastic year. Retail sales in China grew by an outstanding 70% to €701 million and by 22% in Russia to €935 million.
This year, for the special SPAR International Congress marking the 80th anniversary of the food retail chain, Dr Gordon Campbell welcomed almost 300 delegates from 35 countries, a record attendance which demonstrates the strength and vitality of the worldwide organisation.
"This year we are delighted to celebrate the 80th anniversary of the foundation of the unique SPAR partnership, which was founded in the Netherlands in 1932 with the slogan 'Through joint co-operation all benefit'."I am delighted to say that our ongoing growth, boosted by the collaboration of all of our SPAR countries with their partners, proves this slogan true," said Dr Campbell.