Home Retail Spar conference focuses on harnessing past to be ‘the force for the future’

Spar conference focuses on harnessing past to be ‘the force for the future’

by Ozva Admin

Delegates from the UK convenience retail sector traveled to Gran Canaria for the opportunity to spend time with independent Spar retailers who operate stores and service areas across the country, Spar store managers and representatives from major FMCG providers.

Also in attendance were Spar shareholders and senior figures from each of Spar’s five wholesale distribution centers and colleagues from Spar’s UK head office.

Speaking at the conference, Louise Hoste, Managing Director of Spar UK, said: “Spar is delivering strong growth well ahead of the token sector and continues to report sales increases year on year.

Louise Hoste MD Spar UK addressing her colleagues at the conference in Gran Canaria

“We are outperforming our competitor set in value growth and seeing a 10% increase in smaller trips to stores. This footfall growth is a great opportunity, especially when we capitalize on it with additional items in the cart.

“The convenience market is better positioned for independent retailers and independent retailers are thriving with Spar. The opportunity to grow is also supported by customer sentiment to continue to shop locally and we want to support this continued strong performance.

“That is why we are committing to invest £122m over the next 12 months in stores and supply chain, after spending £125m last year.

“Excellent opportunities exist for customers that will make us the force of the future as we continue to focus on our vision of being the most attractive and competitive convenience proposition in the country.

“We will do this by leveraging our unique partnership and the strength of our distinctive Spar brand. We will bring innovative and profitable retail solutions to all of our independent retailers, enabling them to serve local communities in ways that exceed customer expectations.”

Among those attending the conference were Graham McLean, commercial director of IGD, James Lowman, CEO of ACS, Tobias Wasmuht, general manager of Spar International and Dunia Pérez García, general manager of Spar Gran Canaria.

The keynote speaker was Richard McCann, who told his story of resilience, ingenuity, determination, and demonstrated his uncanny ability to spot and seize opportunities.

All delegates were invited to visit the Spar Puerto Rico Market and Spar Natural Market in Mogan Mall.

Guests attending the conference raised a staggering £56,344. Half was donated to SPAR’s national charity partner, Marie Curie.

The 1,600m2 premium Spar store has specialist departments including a cheese room, wine cellar and brewery, and is owned and operated by Spar Spain partner Cencosu.

Two hundred retailers attended the Spar Guild Team Challenge proudly sponsored by Coca-Cola Europacific Partners with Northern Guild (supported by James Hall & Co), winning the overall ‘Mark Gillett Award for Effort’.

As well as supporting Spar UK’s national charity partner, Marie Curie, Spar supported Caritas Diocesana, a local charity in Gran Canaria.

Following a silent auction, a check for £28,172 was presented to Marie Curie, and £28,172 was also presented to Caritas Diocesana at the end of the gala dinner on Friday 7 October.

The national Spar 2024 conference will take place in Sun City, South Africa from 12-16 March 2024.

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