The world’s largest voluntary retail chain, Spar International, has announced its expansion into the Maltese market.
Partnering with Maltese FMCG firm the Azzopardi Group, Spar Malta opened its first supermarket on 12 June in Marsaxlokk, in the south-eastern part of the country.
The newly renovated store has 340 square metres of selling space and offers the new Spar Bakery Concept, a large range of fresh produce, a delicatessen, freshly packaged fish and meats, and coffee, as well as a broad selection of Spar private-label products.
2018 Store Openings
The second store on Maltese soil will be located in Tigne, in the centrally located town of Sliema. Its opening is planned for the end of the month.
Spar Malta aims to open three more stores before the end of the year, with the ultimate goal of opening 23 by 2025. These new outlets will include two Interspar hypermarkets, four large-format supermarkets, and 17 neighbourhood stores.
'Beyond the consistent tourist population, Malta is home to a well-established international resident population. The different Spar Malta store formats will cater to the diverse needs of both the resident and tourist populations throughout the country,' the company wrote in a release.
Spar International said that the push into Malta is part of its ongoing expansion plans in the Southern European region, alongside budding markets in Greece and Cyprus, and the well-established Italian market, which boasts over 1,210 stores.
The managing director of the Azzopardi Group, Joseph Azzopardi, said about the partnership, "Spar’s global presence and high standards in retail best practice will complement the Azzopardi Group’s local expertise in the Maltese retail market.
"Together we will offer customers high-quality produce and a superior retail experience, as well as job opportunities and growth of the local retail market," Azzopardi added.
The Azzopardi group, founded by two brothers in 1980, is present in a number of industries in Malta, including food import and distribution, food retail, property development, and aquaculture. Currently, the group operates 25 stores on the islands, which generate a turnover of €25 million.
Spar International recently announced global retail sales of €34.5 billion for full-year 2017. The results represented an increase of 5.3% year on year on a constant-currency basis.
In 2017, the chain saw year-on-year growth of 232 stores, bringing Spar's total store count to 12,777 worldwide, equalling a sales space of more than 7.4 million square metres.
© 2018 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Karen Henderson. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: European Supermarket Magazine.