Despar Italia has partnered with local retailer Gruppo 3A to expand operations in north-west Italy, in the Piedmont, Liguria and Valle d'Aosta regions.
The partnership, effective January 2020, will see the conversion of Gruppo 3A stores to the Spar brand and the addition of more than 1,600 Despar private-label products to its product assortment.
The deal represents the latest step in the transition of local retail distribution groups in Italy that had long-term master franchising relationships with Auchan Retail Italia before it pulled out from the Italian market.
In recent months, Etruria Retail and Apulia Distribuzione have merged into Carrefour, while other former Auchan stores have been acquired by Crai and Gruppo Arena.
The Despar consortium comprises six regional Spar franchise holders: Aspiag Service; Ergon Società Consortile; Fiorino; L’Alco Grandi Magazzini; Maiora; and SCS Supermercati Consorziati Sardegna.
In 2018, Despar Italia generated an annual turnover of €3.66 billion from a retail portfolio of 1,393 stores.
Gruppo 3A operates 149 stores, of which 20 are directly owned and 129 belong to independent retailers.
It generates an annual turnover of €145 million and employs around 750 people.
Previously, Gruppo 3A was a part of the Simply brand, licensed by Auchan Retail Italia.
© 2019 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Branislav Pekic. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine.