ALBANIA: SPAR International Officially Enters Market

SPAR International has entered the Albanian retail market, with the opening of its first outlets in the country.

The chain has opened two outlets under the INTERSPAR brand in the country – a 7,200 sq. m. store in Tirana East Gate and a 3,800 sq. m. store in QTU shopping centre.  The outlets, now the two largest food stores in the country, were opened through a partnership with the local Balfin Group.

The group has said it will invest €50m locally to expand.  It will convert the 15 stores (13 supermarkets, 2 hypermarkets) Balfin has been operating under the Carrefour brand to the SPAR banner, and will then look to expand organically to 110 outlets (100 supermarkets, 10 hypermarkets) by end-2017.

The move brings to 44 the number of countries where SPAR currently operates, and is the group’s second international expansion of 2016.

NAM Implications:
  • Where at: Given SPAR’s rate of expansion and increasing coverage, an opportunity for brands to piggy-back as a strategy.
  • Where headed: Based on the company’s low cost franchise model, nothing to prevent SPAR expanding in calm, developing markets.
  • Effect on you: A safe route to consumer for compatible brands.
  • Action: Check out SPAR’s country-coverage and if any areas represent weak/nil distribution for your brands, why not develop trade strategies to fit?