BWG News

Delegation from SPAR China visits Ireland to Learn about the Corner Store

Ireland’s traditional corner store was in the spotlight this week as a small and influential delegation from SPAR Shanxi – a province in China – flew into Ireland for a specially organised ‘look and learn’ trip of a dozen leading SPAR stores across Dublin and Kildare.
SPAR Shanxi, which primarily operates the larger hypermarket format, is looking to diversify into smaller SPAR stores typically seen in Ireland and the group of eight visitors – including Mr Alan Bi head of SPAR China Retail Operations and Mrs Li Aixiang VP of Operations, SPAR Shanxi – were keen to understand more about this country’s success in local convenience retailing.
This visit marks the second trip by a SPAR delegation this year, signifying an ever deepening relationship with Ireland. In May, a large Chinese contingent joined 270 delegates from 34 countries across the globe for the 58th SPAR International Congress – an event hosted by SPAR Ireland to coincide with the brand’s 50th anniversary in this country – taking the opportunity to meet with several Irish suppliers.
And only last month (November) SPAR China agreed a new deal with Ocean Jade Seafood – a cooperative between Carr Shellfish, Sofrimar, Shellfish De La Mer and McBride Fishing Company – to begin supplying fresh Irish fish from local fishermen, to some of its SPAR hypermarkets in Shandong, Beijing, Shanxi and Guangdong. The move comes as part of the company’s drive to enhance the international range of fresh produce for customers in its major stores and meet the needs of affluent shoppers in some of China’s biggest cities.
President of SPAR International and Group Chief Executive of BWG Group (operators of SPAR Ireland), Leo Crawford said, “SPAR Ireland is, by now, well known in China and the two countries have built a strong affiliation over recent years. Internationally, Ireland is considered a strong partner country for SPAR and following the International Congress hosted here earlier this year, is also now seen as a country with a lot of export potential. SPAR Ireland has already facilitated meetings between SPAR China and several Irish suppliers and we are delighted to welcome another delegation – this time to showcase some of the world’s best examples of convenience retailing. This tour demonstrates the type of partnerships that can be developed internationally thanks to SPAR’s connections in countries all around the world, which we believe also reaps rewards for the broader economy.”
SPAR Shanxi, one of the five regional SPAR groups in China, joined the brand in 2008 and currently operates over 70 stores in Shanxi and 10 stores in Inner Mongolia taking in a population catchment of 33.7 million. Chairman and majority shareholder, Mr Chu Dequn, oversees SPAR Shanxi, which also includes one of the country’s main Distribution Centre and provides employment for xx,000 people.

EUROSPAR shows support to St Vincent de Paul

EUROSPAR Sales Director, Peter Dwan, recently presented a cheque for €25,000 to St Vincent de Paul, on behalf of Ireland’s nationwide network of EUROSPAR retailers. St Vincent de Paul (SVP) charity is…

Type to search