SPAR International has opened its first store in Azerbaijan
The new 1,800 square metre shop in the capital city of Baku has been established with local partner Araz which already services more than 37,000 daily customers and operates neighbourhood stores, convenience stores and supermarkets.
Araz, which became a SPAR partner in April this year, was founded in 2010 and is part of retail and wholesale business Veyseloglu.
SPAR’s growth in the Caucasus follows confirmation of plans by Khimji Ramdas, the brand’s partner in Oman, to open 21 new stores in the Sultanate by the end of 2017.
Speaking at the official opening of the Baku store, general director of SPAR Azerbaijan Vusal Sharifov said: “Food retailing continues to be one of the most dynamic sectors of Azerbaijan’s economy and Araz has strong plans for growth, with the aim of opening more than eight new SPAR stores with a total sales area of 12 000 square metres by the end of 2017.
“The introduction of the SPAR brand into the local market brings global best practice to retailing in Azerbaijan and delivers a new and unique offering to local consumers based on the SPAR principles of freshness, quality, choice and customer service.”
David Moore, SPAR international business development director added: “Building strong partnerships, sharing international best practice and adhering to SPAR’s core principles has resulted in continued and growing interest from independent retail partners across the globe – particularly in developing economies.
“Our partners in Azerbaijan and Oman, have ambitious plans for growth in both of their markets and we look forward to working with them to grow their presence further into the future.”
Other new countries entered by SPAR in 2015 include Cameroon, Malawi and Indonesia.
SPAR International has 12,300 stores worldwide and global retail sales of €31.9 billion in 2014