Spar is relaunching its own-label brand as it steps up its focus on customers and growing store sales. Spar UK’s marketing director Susan Darbyshire, told around 800 delegates at the recent Blakemore Spar Retail Conference at the Hilton Birmingham Metropole that the company would use its own brand to create a point of difference between


Spar and its competitors.

"We are in the throes of a recession, trading is tough and we have more competitors who are challenging our position. Customers are changing the way they shop in our stores.They want more than a top-up shop and now more than ever they are actively looking for own-brand ranges.

"We have rebranded our range to deliver a good, better, best proposition our customers understand. Product quality is significantly improved to match or exceed competitor products, and we have enhanced our ranges to meet the needs of our customers today."

The brand refresh includes a host of new products for two eating occasions identified as opportunities to increase basket spend and drive retailer sales: food for tonight - summer eating; and food for now - lunchtime eating. There will also be a £5m advertising support package to focus on the Spar brand for the first time. TV advertising kicks off this month. There will also be a strong promotional programme to drive sales.

The conference also featured presentations from the ACS and IGD as well as four Spar retailers, and included a night of entertainment followed by a trade show the next day.