SPAR's Campbell identifies India as a potential market for expansion

MUMBAI: SPAR International managing director Dr Gordon R Campbell, on his inaugural visit to India identified India as one of the three growth driver destinations for SPAR in the coming years.

DR Campbell said SPAR planned to focus on India, China and Russia to drive growth through the utilisation of its unique cooperative model that had seen success across over 15,000 SPAR stores in 34 countries.

With a global turnover of Euro 26.8 billion in 2003, SPAR is one of the worldwide leaders in food retail and had begun its Indian foray with the opening of its first store in Mumbai in December last year. The global food retail brand has a license arrangement with Radhakrishna Foodland Pvt. Ltd., a leading Indian food distribution company, to introduce the SPAR brand.



Dr. Campbell said, "I am excited by the possibility of working with Radhakrishna Foodland chairman and managing director Raju Sheté on the development of SPAR in the Mumbai region, whilst aiding and facilitating in the development and transition to a modern distribution system."

He added, "SPAR International has successfully supported independent retailers in Europe in competing against the multiple retailers and international chains for over 70 years. The SPAR partnership model has been successfully introduced in Eastern Europe and Africa. We are committed to supporting independent retailers to achieve best practice in international retailing, thereby enabling them to grow and develop. Our multi-format retail strategy enables us to tailor retail propositions to match individual locations and consumer needs."



Sheté on the other hand said, "The introduction of the SPAR brand in India is, I believe, one of the most significant developments in the Indian retail industry in recent times. The license arrangement between SPAR and Radhakrishna Foodland leverages the SPAR brand’s experience of retail in diverse communities and geographies while Radhakrishna Foodland brings to the venture its expertise and experience as managers of a comprehensive range of food services in India. The levels of interest shown in the SPAR format by independent retailers in the first three months of our existence is have been very high and augurs well for SPAR International’s focus on India."



Sharing details of SPAR’s global plans, Dr. Campbell said that 'Towards 2008' is SPAR International’s medium to long term strategy and sets out how SPAR will increase the value we deliver to our customers. "'Towards 2008' also sets out our competitive strategy, the six pillars of SPAR. The six pillars are the basis of our strategy in continuing to grow and build consumer trust in SPAR around the world. Building trust is the path to providing a compelling consumer offer which will ensure that SPAR continues to attract and retain customers and remain a leading global food retailer."

"The conclusion for SPAR in our strategy 'Towards 2008', is that we will focus our expansion plans on the developing world. Our main target is Asia, especially China and India. We will also seek to expand in Africa. In Europe, our principal market for development is Russia."

In conclusion, Campbell stated, "SPAR is well positioned to enjoy continued growth over the coming decade. We will consolidate our strong position in Europe while continuing to develop our business in the emerging markets."

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