Spar (Dutch pronunciation: [spɑr]), trademarked as SPAR, is a Dutch multinational retail chain 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. Its headquarters are in Amsterdam.
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".
Spar is also the root of the verb which means "to save [money]" in some Germanic (among them German) 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.
In Japan some stores operate under the name Hotspar, although the store logo colouring remains unchanged.
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.
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.
The first Spar store in Oman was inaugurated in January 2015 in Muscat. SPAR Oman plans more stores to open in the coming months as part of its expansion plans in Oman.
In March 2015 the first three stores in Indonesia were opened. Twelve stores are planned to open in the country by the end of 2015.
In most, but not all countries, SPAR operates stores of different types and sub-brands, including in India.
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.
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.
"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