SPAR operations in Europe record strong performance in 2020

Date : 05 May 2021

Jon Wright

Head of Insight - RA EMEA

After SPAR’s local partners in Italy, Hungary and Slovenia report their results and performance in 2020, we round up how they have increased sales and the reasons behind this growth.

DESPAR Italia enjoys turnover growth of 8.4% in 2020

Despar Italia reported its turnover reached €3.9 bn in 2020, up 8.4% on 2019’s results. While demand was aided by the pandemic, the company said its performance also benefited from the opening of 60 further stores in the year, Gruppo 3A joining its network and the strength of its private label ranges. Despar Italia said at the end of 2020 it operated 1,399 stores with a selling are of 811,00 sq. m, with its Despar format accounting for 37% of sales, its Eurospar banner for 36% and Interspar stores the remaining 27%. In 2021 Despar said it would continue to invest in its stores and was aiming to open or update more than 40 sites.

Private label ranges aided Despar’s performance in 2020

Private labels were a focus area for the company in 2020. It added a further 200 SKUs to its private label ranges, taking its total to 3,300 across several categories. It also updated a further 270 SKUs. These changes and the strength of existing products saw sales of private label ranges outperform the total, with sales of its own products growing by 9.4% in 2020, to account for 20.3% of its grocery sales.

Despar reported growth across several of its own lines: Veggie saw sales rise 18.2%, Despar Premium up 18%, Free From +17.2%, while its Scelta Verde BioLogico brand saw sales advance by 12%. In 2021 Despar said it will invest further in its private label ranges and is aiming to launch 220 new products and update a further 190. It is aiming these improvements will help drive sales growth of its private label products by 3% in the year.

SPAR Hungary sees revenues advance 8.7% in 2020

SPAR Hungary reported sales reached €2.1 bn in 2020, up 8.7% on the previous year’s figure. The growth was underpinned by changing shopper habits due to the COVID-19 pandemic but was supported by expansion and on-going investment in its store network. SPAR Hungary’s online store saw increased demand, which encouraged the retailer to adding new fulfilment options, including home delivery and click and collect solitions, at further stores.

At the end of the year there were 588 stores under the SPAR banner, across all formats. SPAR added four company-owned and operated stores, two each under the SPAR and SPAR City banners, while 21 independently owned and operated stores joined the network. SPAR Hungary invested €78.3m in its operations, expanding logistics centres, improving 14 stores and on the acquisition of a meat factory.

SPAR Slovenia’s gross turnover up 8.9% in 2020

SPAR Slovenia reported that despite the challenges produced by the pandemic, its gross turnover had risen by 8.9% to €909m in 2020. The growth was aided by the addition of three new stores, of which two were supermarkets and the last was a hypermarket, while it also updated and extended its SPAR Lenart supermarket to a hypermarket. As with other SPAR operations globally, SPAR Slovenia saw strong online growth, with basket size up 20% in December 2020 versus December 2019. In the same month the number of online orders generated by SPAR Slovenia was 2.5 more higher than in 2019.