SPAR aims to convert Metcash-supplied stores

Posted by Nicole Eckersley on 21st March 2011

SPAR Australia has announced that since 1st December 2010, it has converted 11 Metcash supplied stores to the group.

SPAR also announced that it is currently in negotiations with “a large number of independent retailers who are looking for a better service option and making the switch from their current supplier.”

The latest of these conversions are 7 IGA stores in South-East Queensland, belonging to Keith and Margaret Simpson.

Simpson said he felt his business will benefit from the better service SPAR can provide and from what his long-time associate and SPAR Australia Managing Director Lou Jardin describes as “a family business supporting family businesses.”

“When Lou spelled out his plan for independent supermarkets, where all key stakeholders share equally in the success of the business, I knew that this was a business I wanted to be part of. Equally we won’t be disadvantaged on price and will be able to compete more effectively in the market.”

Also joining SPAR Australia is Farmer Charlies, a group of 3 stores in the Northern NSW region. Owner Brett Mackenzie said his decision was due to dissatisfaction with support provided by their current supplier.

“We have big plans for our business, and SPAR Australia can provide the direction and support we want in a warehouse.”

Farmer Charlies will undergo a dramatic transformation over the next few months, introducing a state-of-the-art bake house as the businesses are repositioned as fresh food destination stores.

“Ballina is the next store in the pipeline and with SPAR’s support we will be expanding the store into a full offer supermarket with a bakery, upgraded delicatessen and the addition of a meat department.”

SPAR Sussex Inlet, which converted from IGA in December 2010, has reportedly experienced a sales increase of 7% over the Christmas and New Year period, which owner Dimitri Spyriakis attributes to the changeover.

“What SPAR offered was a great international brand, very competitive pricing, excellent trading terms, and most importantly to us, genuine personal service. The Fabulous range has also had a great impact for us as the product has stood out on the fixtures with customers commenting on the price and quality of the range,” he said.