At an event celebrating the 90th anniversary of SPAR, John van der Ent, CEO of SPAR Netherlands, announced the company's expansion plans.
The retailer aims to double its retail network to 1,000 within three years, from its current store count of 455.
The chain has expressed its ambition to be the 'king of convenience in the retail segment', with expansion in store numbers critical to this goal. SPAR Netherlands' current blend of retail formats, spanning petrol forecourts to neighbourhood supermarkets and city stores, is designed to allow the retailer to be closer to consumers.
A number of pilot stores are currently being established in particularly high-traffic locations to support this growth. Unmanned stores are also being placed in twelve hotels around the country. These vending solutions will also be available for large office environments, the company noted.
"We go from small, to smaller and then smallest," said John van der Ent. The retailer has also commenced a pilot with meal delivery company Deliveroo. This project aligns with SPAR Netherlands' ambition to position itself between the catering industry and the neighbourhood supermarket.
This is the retailer's second collaborative delivery programme, following the partnership with Thuisbezorgd (Just Eat).
The aim is to roll out the collaboration nationally, based on the outcome of the pilot. SPAR Netherlands is increasing its presence in both small and large Dutch cities, as well as establishing locations along national highways and at universities and camping grounds.
The multi-format strategy has been key to its rapid advancement in recent years in the Dutch retail landscape, the company added.