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SPAR eyes largest food retail chain in Greece

Tobias Wasmuht SPARSPAR Hellas has announced its major plans to enter the Greek market to create and operate the largest food retail chain of independent retailers in the country.

The SPAR Hellas said in a statement it will be part of SPAR International, the food retail chain with over 12,500 stores in 44 countries and overall sales of up to €33.1 billion.

SPAR Hellas plans to develop more than 350 stores nationwide over the next four years. It will offer up to 1,400 SPAR Own Brand products, with many sourced from Greek producers and suppliers.

“SPAR is establishing in Greece in order to develop the most modern cooperative network of independent retail stores in the country. The combination of Greek retailers’ excellent local knowledge with SPAR’s international best practice and global brand will result in innovative store layouts for the customer, excellent fresh products, a wide range of private label products and value for money,” Fivos Karakitsos, CEO of SPAR Hellas said.

“High-levels of customer service will be delivered through continuous staff training programs. SPAR Partners will build on their traditional roots, creating a strong family focused business which is unique in the Greek market. SPAR Hellas in turn, consists of a well-regarded team from the areas of sales, marketing, operation and supply, something that guarantees the highest level of support for the retail network. Our vision is that [it] will become one of the strongest Greek retail players in the market and we are excited to play our part in strengthening the [country’s] economy.”

The food retail group said the strategic cooperation between SPAR Hellas and the ASTERAS association will develop SPAR’s retail presence in Greece. Within the next three years, ASTERAS will convert most of its existing 200-store network to the SPAR brand. To build its capabilities and resources further, ASTERAS has entered into a joint co-operation with the MESIS association, which leads to a group with more than 500 stores across Greece and a reported €700 million in sales.

“We are delighted to welcome SPAR Hellas to our network of partners all over the world. SPAR was founded on the principle of ‘Better Together’. Uniting the shared resources and expertise of ASTERAS and MESIS under the internationally recognised SPAR Brand will benefit all three parties. The Greek retail market is competitive, but SPAR will act as a dynamic force, bringing quality, fresh produce, value and an excellent retail experience for our customers. I am confident that SPAR will create growth opportunities for independent retailers and Greek producers and suppliers and bolster the growth of the Greek economy,” said Tobias Wasmuht, SPAR International’s CEO.

The first 10 SPAR stores are due to launch in Greece by July while SPAR Hellas aims to operate a total of 80 stores by the end of 2018. The food retail network in Greece will grow both by the conversion of ASTERAS and MESIS stores and by SPAR Hellas operating new, company-owned stores.

“Supplying local, Greek products in SPAR’s network is a key part of our business strategy. We recognise our responsibility to encourage Greek production and we will continuously strengthen both local production and thereby the economy. The private label products will gradually be produced in our country and we will offer quality producers the opportunity to access the SPAR network. We will open SPAR stores throughout Greece and will harness the power and expertise of the brand to grow the business,” Georgios Vogiatzakis, development consultant at SPAR Hellas said.

SPAR International said it also offers licensed partners comprehensive support including store development, private label ranges, staff education and skills development, high-end supply chain distribution and the design and implementation of locally focused marketing campaigns. Access to international best practice and the local expertise of the team at SPAR Hellas will ensure a full set of services and benefits for all licensed partners, helping them grow their business in a competitive retail environment.

“The cooperation with SPAR sets a totally new trajectory for ASTERAS but also for the market. With the increased cooperation through partnerships like the one with MESIS, we can achieve the union of the convenience business for Greece under the brand of SPAR. Our target is that by the year 2021 ASTERAS will report more than 1.20 billion euro in sales and a market share that will be well over than 12 per cent in total,” George Papantonis the president of group ASTERAS concluded.

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