SPAR owner, BWG Group, to invest €100m in store development across all retail brands over next five years
Leading convenience brand SPAR has today announced plans to add 50 new stores to its network by 2016, leading to the creation of up to 1,000 new full and part-time jobs over the next two years. The announcement was made at the SPAR Retailer Convention in Killarney which was attended by more than 200 retailers from around the country.
SPAR’s owner, BWG Group, has up to €100 million for investment in store development across its store network, including SPAR, over the next five years. This follows the recent investment by SPAR South Africa in BWG. The funds that are now in place will be used to expand SPAR’s existing retail network across the country, as well as assist existing retailers with refurbishment and expansion plans. Over €5 million will be invested in a new SPAR store design, launched in SPAR Millennium Walkway, which will be rolled out to over 100 new stores.
Addressing retailers, BWG Group CEO, Leo Crawford said, “Over the past 12 months SPAR has been focussed on adding high quality new stores to the network and this strategy is paying dividends. The retail sector makes a hugely important contribution to the Irish economy. Our planned store growth over the next two years and the new jobs that will be created will contribute to the economic recovery especially in the local urban and rural communities in which our SPAR stores are located.
“Following six years of recession we believe the economy is finally turning the corner and this uplift is starting to positively impact the retail sector. The upcoming budget will be a crucial milestone and we urge the Government to include measures such as the reversal in employer PRSI rates in order to maintain the fragile recovery in our sector,” said Crawford.
SPAR took the opportunity of the retailer gathering to also launch its new SPAR Select range of premium quality private label products, making it the first convenience group in Ireland to introduce a premium line to its own brand category. SPAR Select features products from 22 local, Irish suppliers and is predicted to generate sales in the region of €7.5 million in the first two years alone.
The bi-annual SPAR Convention included business strategy updates from the group’s management as well as high profile speakers from the sporting and media worlds. Home cook, Donal Skehan hosted a panel of Irish suppliers from the new SPAR Select range.
SPAR Ireland, part of BWG Foods, incorporates SPAR for convenience and neighbourhood shopping and SPAR Express for forecourt shopping. SPAR provides employment to over 14,000 people locally and supports many local Irish food and beverage suppliers around the country. SPAR and its retailers have been recognised through international and local awards programmes for innovation and world class standards in retailing.