Spar (retailer)

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"SPAR" redirects here. For other uses, see Spar (disambiguation).
Industry Retail
Founded 1932
Headquarters Amsterdam, Netherlands
Products Grocery stores, convenience stores, discount stores, hypermarkets and more
Revenue Increase 31.1 billion (2011)
Spar store in City Tower, Manchester, United Kingdom

Spar (Dutch pronunciation: [spɑr]), trademarked as SPAR, is a Dutch multinational retail chain[1] and franchise with approximately 12,500 stores in 35 countries worldwide. It was founded in the Netherlands in 1932 by retailer Adriaan van Well. Through its affiliate organisations, Spar operates through most European countries, parts of Africa, Asia and Oceania.[2] Its headquarters are in Amsterdam.[3]


The name was originally DE SPAR, an acronym of the Dutch phrase Door Eendrachtig Samenwerken Profiteren Allen Regelmatig[note 1] (English: through united co-operation everyone regularly profits). De Spar is Dutch for "The spruce", hence Spar's logo. As the organisation expanded across Europe, the name was abbreviated by dropping "DE".[citation needed]

Spar is also the root of the verb which means "to save [money]" in some Germanic (among them German[4]) and Scandinavian languages.

There are some international naming variants:

  • In Italy, the name is still Despar, though in keeping with the international branding, the "Spar" section of the logo is highlighted, and the larger stores are still called Eurospar and Interspar. In Austria, Despar is Spar's Italian food store brand.[5]
  • In Japan some stores operate under the name Hotspar, although the store logo colouring remains unchanged.[citation needed]


Spar store in Moerkapelle, Netherlands

Spar was founded in 1932 in the Dutch town of Zegwaart (now Zoetermeer). In 1953 an International Spar office opened in Amsterdam to control and further develop the organisation throughout Europe and other continents. Most Spar stores are in Europe, but they can also be found in a few countries outside of Europe, such as Oman, Nigeria, South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Swaziland, Australia,[6] Mauritius, China, India, Japan, Vanuatu, Greenland[7] and Angola.

A Spar store may be owned independently, by a franchisee, or be part of a chain, depending on the model applied in any given country. The owners of the parent company vary from country to country and may include the store owners themselves. The name and the current logo was most recently revised in 1968 by Raymond Loewy and has remained unchanged ever since.[8]

In the United Kingdom Spar has become known primarily as a convenience store, although in Northern Ireland Spar operates using the subformat Eurospar as well. The company also has a large presence in the Republic of Ireland where it also uses the Eurospar subformat. Spar opened in the Republic of Vanuatu on 1 December 2009, ending Au Bon Marché's grocery monopoly.

Since 1996, the company has been a major sponsor of the European Athletic Association and its events.[9]

In 1997, Spar was introduced to most United Kingdom military bases by Navy, Army and Air Force Institutes (Naafi), where it sells a variety of civilian and military products.[10]

The Dutch Spar is a member of Superunie, an inventory purchasing organization for a number of otherwise unaffiliated supermarket brands.[citation needed]

In July 2014 SPAR Group South Africa opened its first supermarket in Angola. In August 2014 the group acquired 80% of the BWG Group, which had outlets in Ireland and southwest England.[11]

In 2015 Ahold bought all Czech stores and converted them into Albert super- and hypermarkets, however it had to get rid of some stores in order not to have a monopoly.[citation needed]

The first Spar store in Oman was inaugurated in January 2015 in Muscat.[citation needed] SPAR Oman plans more stores to open in the coming months as part of its expansion plans in Oman.[citation needed]

In March 2015 the first three stores in Indonesia were opened.[citation needed] Twelve stores are planned to open in the country by the end of 2015.[citation needed]

Store types[edit]

In most, but not all countries, SPAR operates stores of different types and sub-brands, including in India.[12]

Interspar store in Hungary

The Eurospar name is used for this format in Europe and Superspar in South Africa. These are mid-sized supermarkets. They are designed to fit in a niche between convenience stores and traditional supermarkets.[citation needed]


These are hypermarkets and compete directly against major international chains such as Real, Carrefour, and Tesco.[13][14]

Spar Express
A filling station with a Spar Express store in Wattens, Austria

This is the smallest store type. They are designed for small sites and filling station forecourts. They are called Kwikspar in South Africa.[citation needed]

Spar Drive-Thru

There was a Drive-Thru Spar on the Cliftonville Road in Belfast, Northern Ireland. This has now been converted to a Centra Store, and still has a Drive-Thru.[15]

Spar Gourmet

Some small Spar stores in Austria are called Spar Gourmet since the Austrian Spar Group took over the supermarket chains Julius Meinl in 2000. The standard range is extended to local and global delicacies.[16]

Company slogans[edit]

  • "Feel the Taste of Spar", Austrian slogan
  • "Alles da da da" ("Everything there there there"), Austrian Interspar slogan
  • "Always close to you", Spanish slogan
  • "Under the tree at spar", Ireland, English language slogan
  • "Baš za mene, Interšpar za mene" (Perfect for me, Interspar for me)—Croatian Interspar slogan
  • "Big On Value", "Expect a little more" previous Northern Irish Eurospar slogans
  • "Dobro zame" ("Good for me"), Slovenian slogan
  • "Du kjenner oss" ("You know us"), Norwegian slogan
  • "Good for you", South African slogan
  • "Jó hely, jó ár, jó döntés!" ("Good Place, Good Price, Good Decision"), most used Hungarian slogan, previously "Frissesség, minőség, árubőség!" ("Freshness, quality, plenty of products!") - was used in catalogs in the 2000s, "Mindig Spar!" ("Always Spar!") - was used in advertisements in the 2000s and "Ön és a Spar, összeillő pár!" ("You and Spar, a matching pair!") - in the 1990s
  • "Live life better", India slogan.
  • "Making everyday better", Australian slogan, previously "Good Food, Easy Shopping"
  • "More passion for good prices", Romanian slogan
  • "My Botswana, My SPAR", Botswana slogan.
  • "My SPAR", South African slogan
  • "Quello che vuoi tu, e un po' di più" ("What you want, and a little more"), Italian slogan
  • "So near, so Spar", United Kingdom slogan
  • "Spar is de boodschap": the original Dutch slogan (a play on the double meaning of boodschap: "grocery" and "message")
  • "Spar: There for you", current United Kingdom slogan
  • "Spar—der hvor du kan" ("Spar—where you can") a play on SPAR meaning "save (money)" in Danish, current Danish slogan
  • "The Super Easy Supermarket", Irish Eurospar slogan.
  • "There for you", United Kingdom slogan
  • "Under the tree, at Spar" (former Irish slogan, jingle still retained today)
  • "Wat je dichtbij haalt is lekker" ("What you get from close-by, is good" ): the current Dutch slogan; it is a play on the Dutch saying "what you get from far, is good")
  • "We got Spar", United Kingdom slogan (1990s)
  • "Mijn buurt, mijn Spar" (My neighborhood, my Spar) Is the new slogan since 2014

International statistics (2011)[edit]

Country Sales (in 1000s)[17] No. of stores[17] Sales area (m²)[17] Sales per area Average store
size (m²)[17]
Nationwide owner
Angola Angola €40,838 1 The Spar Group Ltd
Australia Australia €172,008 100 36,271 €4,742/m² 363 SPAR Australia
Austria Austria €5,360,000 1,470 1,067,681 €5,020/m² 726 ASPIAG
Belgium Belgium €813,500 291 137,743 €5,905/m² 473 Colruyt and Lambrechts
Botswana Botswana €97,506 26 23,249 €4,193/m² 894 The Spar Group Ltd.
China China €716,000 175 657,000 €1,089/m² 3,754 6 partners
Croatia Croatia €263,426 27 68,036 €3,871/m² 3,581 ASPIAG
Czech Republic Czech Republic** €550,000 39 138,293 €3,977/m² 3,546 ASPIAG
Denmark Denmark €1,072,740 504 170,309 €6,298/m² 338 Dagrofa
France France €968,382 956 245,214 €3,949/m² 257 Casino
Germany Germany €250,000 340 27,200 €9,191/m² 80 Edeka
Greece Greece €683,389 189 142,658 €4,790/m² 755 Veropoulos
Hungary Hungary €1,400,000 389 391,467 €3,576/m² 1,006 ASPIAG
India India €1,516,182 16 142,630 €5,000/m² 500 Sparindia
Republic of Ireland Ireland €1,116,144 422 116,720 €9,562/m² 277 BWG Foods
Italy Italy €3,855,662 1,549 831,423 €4,637/m² 537 10 licence partners
Japan Japan €86,224 89 9,559 €9,020/m² 107 Hokkaido SPAR
Mauritius Mauritius €22,041 8 7,000 €3,148/m² 875 Casino
Namibia Namibia €127,706 27 27,670 €4,615/m² 1,025 The Spar Group Ltd.
Netherlands Netherlands €491,455 282 111,309 €4,415/m² 395 Sperwer Groep
Nigeria Nigeria €22,167 2 5,414 €4,094/m² 2,707 Artee Nigeria Ltd
Norway Norway €1,440,539 276 156,351 €9,213/m² 566 NorgesGruppen
Poland Poland €84,903 71 18,288 €4,642/m² 258 Bac-Pol
Portugal Portugal €44,132 58 20,013 €2,205/m² 345
Romania Romania €10,000 7 3,000 €3,333/m² 429
Russia Russia €935,000 254 126,453 €7,394/m² 498 5 partners
Slovenia Slovenia €713,546 97 (2015) 142,133 €5,020/m² 1,653 ASPIAG
South Africa South Africa* €4,628,469 875[18] 874,810 €5,290/m² 1,085 The Spar Group Ltd.
Spain Spain €1,152,174 904 327,075 €3,522/m² 362 Spar Española
Switzerland Switzerland €455,094 169 69,838 €6,516/m² 426 SPAR Handels AG
Ukraine Ukraine €71,817 36 28,423 €3,024/m² 742
United Kingdom United Kingdom €3,189,273 2,504 357,860 €8,912/m² 143 Spar (UK) Limited[19]
Zambia Zambia €52,139 11 19,142 €2,723/m² 1,740 SPAR Zambia
Zimbabwe Zimbabwe €233,009 64 40,826 €5,707/m² 638 2 partners

* Including stores (4) in Swaziland.

** Czech stores bought by Ahold in 2015 and converted to both Albert super- and hypermarkets.

See also[edit]



  1. ^ "SPAR corporate nationality - SPAR". Retrieved 2 October 2014. 
  2. ^ "SPAR Countries - SPAR". Archived from the original on 29 June 2013. Retrieved 1 October 2013. 
  3. ^ "Contact Information - SPAR". Retrieved 1 October 2013. 
  4. ^ "Englisch-Deutsch Wörterbuch". LEO. Retrieved 2015-03-01. 
  5. ^ "DESPAR" (in German). SPAR Österreich. Retrieved 7 March 2015. 
  6. ^ "SPAR Australia opens first Vanuatu store: AUS - Analysis". 2012-04-02. Retrieved 2016-01-10. 
  7. ^ "Cool Nordic". YouTube. 2013-02-14. Retrieved 2015-02-25. 
  8. ^ "SPAR". Raymond Loewy Foundation. Retrieved 1 October 2013. 
  9. ^ "Athletics, Sprints & Sports Days". 2009-10-09. Retrieved 2016-01-10. 
  10. ^ [1][dead link]
  11. ^ Mark Allix (2014-08-12). "Spar buys stake in Irish supermarkets | Retail & Consumer". BDlive. Retrieved 2015-02-25. 
  12. ^ Eric Pfanner (2004-11-12). "An international grocery giant is emerging from the shadows - The New York Times". Retrieved 2015-02-25. 
  13. ^ "SPAR to open 24 more hypermarkets in next two years". 28 January 2011. Retrieved 1 October 2013. 
  14. ^ Boulder Brands CEO Stephen Hughes (3 February 2011). "Spar looks to expand Czech supermarket chain". Retrieved 1 October 2013. 
  15. ^ Northern Ireland Assembly Information Office. "Northern Ireland Assembly Committee for Social Development - Inquiry into Town Centre Regeneration Report: 14/09/10R". Retrieved 1 October 2013. 
  16. ^ (24 February 2008). "Chronologie: Von Konsum bis Rewe - Handel - " Wirtschaft". Retrieved 1 October 2013. 
  17. ^ a b c d (registration required)
  18. ^ "Own a SPAR". SPAR. Retrieved 2015-02-26. 
  19. ^ "Spar UK Limited". Retrieved 17 April 2014. 

External links[edit]

Media related to SPAR (category) at Wikimedia Commons