SPAR’s worldwide retail sales grew by €1.36 billion in 2011, leading to overall sales of €31.1 billion and a cumulative three year retail sales increase of 16%, Dr Gordon Campbell, managing director of SPAR International announced at its annual congress.

He said the SPAR multi-format retail strategy had played a key role in sales growth.

“Consumers are making less shopping trips and prefer to shop nearer to home, and we have met this trend with moves into convenience retailing in city centre and petrol forecourt stores in a number of SPAR countries,” said Dr Campbell.

“We are responding to consumer needs with our multi-format retail strategy, which meets all shopping missions from full weekly shopping for the family to stock up, to daily fresh products to express shopping for convenience items and food to go.”

SPAR International met another key expansion milestone in 2011, with its move into the Middle East. The first SPAR supermarket opened in the United Arab Emirates in Abu Dhabi and will provide the platform for further expansion in the region. Qatar will soon become the 37th SPAR country with its first SPAR supermarket opening later this year.