Spar UK reports 5% growth in like-for-like sales
January 1, 2010
Spar UK has recorded like-for-like sales growth of 4.8% for the three months to 31 October 2009, underscoring the popularity of the convenience store channel.
The confectionery category showed Spar’s largest sales increase in the quarter, with a 10% hike suggesting that some of the Woolworths’ business had stayed in local communities. Grocery recorded an 8.5% increase, while fresh and frozen both rose by 5%.
Jerry Marwood, Spar UK managing director, said the results were testament to how Spar retailers were making changes to ensure they were following customer trends in challenging times.
“Spar retailers are true entrepreneurs, finding opportunities out there everywhere,” he said.
“Our retailers are constantly adapting their businesses to respond to changing consumer needs and it’s clear that in the current marketplace the faster one can move the bigger the opportunity.”
Spar’s own brand has also continue to grow especially in fresh, which accounts for 50% of the retailer’s own label.
“Our stores no longer just depend on selling tobacco and the ‘old’ convenience model is changing,” said Marwood. “That means we are becoming established for selling in more complex categories such as fruit, vegetables and meat.”
Despite the gains, Spar said shoppers are increasingly canny.
“Customers are obviously talking about price and are reading promotional leaflets a lot more than they were,” said Marwood. “They have cultivated a bargain-hunting approach – making weekly budgets and shopping lists and shopping around to different stores to get the deals they want.”
Looking ahead, Marwood said independent local retailers will have an important place in the lives of customers in 2010.
“They are the entrepreneurs, employers, innovators and a route to market for vital goods and services as well as understanding customers and fulfilling their varying daily needs,” he said.
Spar: growth in convenience
January 2010 Issue