SPAR stores were founded more than 90 years ago by Dutch wholesaler, Adriaan van Well. He wanted to support the independent sector, by promoting collaboration between independent wholesalers and retailers. The first store opened in 1932, under the name DESPAR – an acronym for ‘Door Eendrachtig Samenwerken Profiteren Allen Regelmatig’ (All benefit from joint co-operation), reinforcing his philosophy for the stores to promote collaboration. ‘De Spar’ is also the Dutch word for a fir tree, which happens to be the organisation’s logo. And to top all this symbolism off, the word ‘spaar’ means save in Dutch!
In the late 1940s, the name DESPAR was shortened to SPAR, and the brand became international as it expanded outside the Netherlands, into Belgium. By 1959, SPAR had established stores in nine countries such as Germany, Austria, France, United Kingdom, Spain, and Italy. For the next 20 years, they continued their expansion into the rest of the world and in 1963, the first SPAR store opened in South Africa. SPAR South Africa obtained a license to trade in Seychelles in 2015, and opened the first store on Eden Island.
SPAR South Africa has four divisions today, namely SPAR (for general shopping), SUPERSPAR (offers bulk shopping at affordable prices), KWIKSPAR (offers everyday essentials), and SaveMor (affordable grocery shopping in rural areas). Some SPAR outlets also have TOPS liquor stores and Build It divisions. Today, SPAR has more than 900 grocery stores all over South Africa in cities such as Johannesburg, Centurion, Nelspruit, Rustenburg, Pinetown and Potchefstroom.
- SUPERSPAR is SPAR’s major superstore division. The shops have a large selling area (more than 1 300 square meters), and mostly positioned in larger cities such as Johannesburg, Centurion, Nelspruit, Rustenburg, Pinetown and Potchefstroom. They offer their customers a full range of groceries, as well as general merchandise. All SUPERSPAR stores have an instore bakery, butchery, and delicatessens with ready-to-eat meals, meats, and cheeses.
- SPAR stores are similar to SUPERSPAR in that they have an instore bakery, butchery, and delicatessen, but the floor size is slightly smaller (approximately 700 square meters).
- KWIKSPAR is smaller (usually 300 – 700 square meters) and is often found in smaller neighbourhoods. They offer less products than the bigger stores, but you will still find all the basic groceries and necessary merchandise on sale. They have fresh produce, baked goods, and also ready-to-eat meals.
- The SaveMore outlet provides customers with excellent value for money. Stores are smaller (400 – 1000 square meters), positioned in rural neighbourhoods. They offer fresh produce, baked goods, and ready-to-eat meals.
- SPAR also wants to reduce their carbon footprint. They do this by improving sustainability education within their organisation and improving awareness among their retailers.
SPAR stores fall under the Groceries category along with other stores such as Pick n Pay, Shoprite, Checkers, Ultra Liquors, Food Lover's Market, Makro, Boxer, Cambridge Foods, Woolworths and KWIKSPAR. Their trading hours are from 8h00 to 20h00 from Monday to Saturday and 8h00 to 18h00 on Sundays.
For more information, visit their website spar.co.za.