SPAR to enter Israel

Amit Zeev, until recently CEO of Yeinot Bitan-Carrefour Israel, has signed a letter of intent on launching SPAR under a local franchise.

Amit Zeev, CEO of Yeinot Bitan-Carrefour Israel, is going it alone. Zeev is bringing Netherlands-based international retail chain SPAR to Israel.

Zeev and representatives of SPAR have signed a letter of intent with a view to opening a chain of supermarkets under the international brand in Israel. Together with SPAR, Zeev is currently constructing the basis for launching the chain in Israel under a franchise agreement.

SPAR is the second international retail chain to announce its intention of entering the Israeli market this year. In March, Electra Consumer Products announced a franchise agreement with French retailing giant Carrefour, under which 150 branches of the Yeinot Bitan chain will be converted to the Carrefour format.

SPAR’s model is to operate though local franchises. It has 13,623 stores in 48 countries serving 14.5 million customers daily. Its annual sales turnover is some €41.2 billion. The chain has four formats: SPAR, SUPERSPAR (EUROSPAR), INTERSPAR, and SPAR Express.

The SPAR branches are the original format, from which, over the 90 years since it was founded, additional formats have developed to meet the needs of different consumers. SPAR branches are 200 to 1,000 square meters in area, and are located in major cities and small towns.

In the EUROSPAR or SUPERSPAR format, stores cover between 1,000 and 3,000 square meters, and are located in malls and city centers. INTERSPAR is the largest format, with stores covering over 3,000 square meters. This format is especially successful in central Europe, China, Russia, and India.

SPAR Express stores are generally in city centers and fuel stations. These are small stores, 100-300 square meters in area.

Besides the stores, SPAR operates 150 logistics centers around the world, and also acts among its franchisees as a wholesale exporter and importer of thousands of its own-brand products and of leading international brands. Its average annual sales growth rate is 5.1%, and its sales turnover is projected to reach €50 billion in 2025.

Zeev has considerable experience in retailing. For eight years he was CEO of the fuel stations and convenience stores chain of Dor Alon.

He later served as CEO of the am:pm chain. He previously managed the Nike stores in Israel and the Israeli and Hungarian activity of the GAP brand in the Gottex group (Zara Israel). Before that he filled several management roles in the Tiv Ta’am supermarket group.