Spar (retailer)

"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, trademarked as SPAR, is a Dutch multinational retail chain[1] and franchise brand with approximately 12,500 stores in 35 countries worldwide. It was founded in 1932 by 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). The acronym was chosen is order to resonate with the verb "spar" or "spaar" which means "save [money]" in some languages, among them Dutch, German,[4] Scandinavian and some dialects of Slovenian.[5] De Spar also happens to be a Dutch word for "The spruce", hence Spar's logo.

As the organisation expanded across Europe, the name was abbreviated by dropping the "DE" prefix. There are some international naming variants:


Spar store in Moerkapelle, Netherlands

Spar was founded in 1932 in the South Holland 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,[7] Mauritius, China, India, Japan, Vanuatu, Greenland[8] 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.[9]


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 December 1, 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.[10]

In 1997, Spar was introduced to most United Kingdom military bases by the Navy, Army and Air Force Institutes (Naafi), where it sells a variety of civilian and military products.[11]

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

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.[12]

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.

The first Spar store in Oman was inaugurated in January 2015 in Muscat. SPAR Oman plans to open more stores 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.

Store types

Spar store in Laiwu, China

In most, but not all countries, SPAR operates stores of different types and sub-brands.[13]

Interspar store in Hungary

The Eurospar name is used 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.


These are hypermarkets and compete directly against major international chains such as Real, Carrefour, and Tesco.[14][15]

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

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

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.[16]

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.[17]

Company slogans

  • "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)

International statistics (2014)

Country Sales (in millions)[18] No. of stores[18] Sales area (m²)[18] Sales per area Average store
size (m²)[18]
Year Nationwide owner
Angola Angola €6.6 1 1,200 €5,465/m² 1,200 2014 The SPAR Group Ltd.
Australia Australia €178.8 128 43,250 €4,134/m² 338 1994 SPAR Australia
Austria Austria €5.910.- 1,539 1,089,677 €5,424/m² 708 1954 SPAR Austria Group[19]
Azerbaijan Azerbaijan 2015 AZretail MMC
Belgium Belgium €887.2 281 141,799 €6,257/m² 505 1947 Colruyt and Lambrechts
Botswana Botswana €117.5 28 28,793 €4,083/m² 1,028 2004 The SPAR Group Ltd.
Cameroon Cameroon 2015 SPAR Cameroon
China China €1,786.- 299 955,833 €1,869/m² 3,197 2004 SPAR China
Croatia Croatia €317.9 50 87,384 €3,638/m² 1,748 2004 SPAR Austria Group[19]
Denmark Denmark €868.8 198 141,821 €6,126/m² 716 1954 SPAR Denmark
France France €964.3 937 245,166 €3,933/m² 262 1955 Casino
Georgia (country) Georgia €4.6 6 1,032 €4,442/m² 172 2014 Foodmart
Germany Germany €310.- 425 34,799 €8,908/m² 82 1953 Edeka
Greece Greece €525.6 184 141,107 €3,725/m² 767 1969 Veropoulos
Hungary Hungary €1,584.0 456 404,794 €3,805/m² 888 1992 SPAR Austria Group[19]
India India €35.6 16 71,522 €0,498/m² 4,470 2014 Max Hypermarkets
Indonesia Indonesia 7 2015 Ramayana Lestari Sentosa
Republic of Ireland Ireland €1,101.2 424 112,742 €9,767/m² 266 1963 BWG Foods
Italy Italy €3,119.4 1,385 790,969 €3,944/m² 571 1959 SPAR Austria Group[19]
Japan Japan €48.4 74 8,173 €5,922/m² 110 1997 Hokkaido SPAR
Malawi Malawi €1.5 1 1,650 €0,885/m² 1,650 2014 SPAR Malawi
Mauritius Mauritius €21.0 6 5,700 €3,676/m² 950 2000 Casino
Mozambique Mozambique €40.3 3 6,451 €6,243/m² 2,150 2012 The SPAR Group Ltd.
Namibia Namibia €132.1 28 30,517 €4,327/m² 1,090 2004 The SPAR Group Ltd.
Netherlands Netherlands €431.6 244 98,506 €4,382/m² 404 1932 SPAR Holding B.V.
Nigeria Nigeria €64.0 6 7,826 €8,175/m² 1,304 2009 SPAR Nigeria
Norway Norway €1,494.0 265 153,194 €9,752/m² 578 1984 NorgesGruppen
Oman Oman 2015 Khimji Ramdas
Poland Poland €154.0 186 48,229 €3,192/m² 259 1995 SPAR Polska
Portugal Portugal €66.9 96 31,581 €2,118/m² 329 2006 Novo Retalho
Qatar Qatar 2016 Qatar National Import and Export Co.
Russia Russia €1,443.7 420 285,199 €5,062/m² 679 2000 SPAR Russia
Slovenia Slovenia €729.6 92 146,873 €4,967/m² 1,596 1992 SPAR Austria Group[19]
South Africa South Africa €4,255.- 821 933,886 €4,556/m² 1,137 1963 The SPAR Group Ltd.
Spain Spain €1,312.5 1,146 436,538 €3,007/m² 381 1959 SPAR Española
Switzerland Switzerland €498.9 181 74,228 €6,721/m² 410 1989 SPAR Handels AG
Ukraine Ukraine €12.2 11 7,700 €1,584/m² 700 2001 SPAR Luhansk
SPAR Kharkiv
United Arab Emirates United Arab Emirates €54.5 4 6,200 €8,788/m² 1,550 2011 SPAR United Arab Emirates
United Kingdom United Kingdom €3,193.2 2,352 350,240 €9,117/m² 149 1956 SPAR UK
Zambia Zambia €79.1 15 26,974 €2,933/m² 1,798 2003 SPAR Zambia
Zimbabwe Zimbabwe €156.5 43 30,381 €5,150/m² 707 1969


  1. Dutch pronunciation: [doːr eːnˈdrɑxtɪx ˈsaːmə(n)ʋɛrkə(n) proːfiˈteːrə(n) ˈɑlə(n) reːɣəlˈmaːtəx]


  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. "Meaning of "šparati" in Slovene" (in Slovenian). Inštitut za slovenski jezik Frana Ramovša ZRC SAZU. Retrieved 31 October 2016.
  6. "DESPAR" (in German). SPAR Österreich. Retrieved 7 March 2015.
  7. "SPAR Australia opens first Vanuatu store: AUS - Analysis". 2012-04-02. Archived from the original on 2 April 2012. Retrieved 2016-01-10.
  8. "Cool Nordic". YouTube. 2013-02-14. Retrieved 2015-02-25.
  9. "SPAR". Raymond Loewy Foundation. Retrieved 1 October 2013.
  10. "Athletics, Sprints & Sports Days". 2009-10-09. Archived from the original on 9 October 2009. Retrieved 2016-01-10.
  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. 1 2 3 4 Annual Report 2014. SPAR Worldwide.
  18. 1 2 3 4 5 "ASPIAG Countries". Retrieved 2016-04-09.

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