CTC to open 20 SPAR supermarkets


By Stelios Orphanides

Ermes Deparment Stores Plc, a member of the Cyprus Trading Corporation Plc Group (CTC) said it has entered a partnership with the Dutch retail group SPAR International to open 20 supermarkets in Cyprus over the next five years.

“The first SPAR stores to open in Cyprus are planned for Q1 (first quarter of) 2018 with a target of opening of more than 20 SPAR supermarkets over the coming five years,” Ermes said in a statement on the website of the Cyprus Stock Exchange on Tuesday. “The stores will be both independent retailer conversions to the SPAR brand and new company owned, greenfield SPAR Supermarkets developed by Ermes. The new entity, to be created in Cyprus by Ermes, aims to establish and manage the biggest co-operation in retail foodstores and to become the leading wholesale and retail service provider to independent retailers in Cyprus through expert leadership, cooperation and support”.

SPAR operates 12,545 stores in 44 countries and posted a €33.1bn in turnover last year, the statement said. Ermes operates 90 retail shops selling apparel, cosmetics and electrical appliances with over 75 square meters in retail space. Seven Ermes stores are in Greece.

The Dutch company will provide support through retail layout and design, own brand products, staff training and expertise in other areas including brand building marketing campaigns, it said. “The access to international SPAR best practice will be combined with local expertise and skills to provide independent retailers with a full package of solutions and tools to enable them to thrive and survive in a very competitive market”.

Marios Shacolas, CTC chief executive chairman and officer said that the strategic alliance with SPAR will help Ermes maintain market leadership on the island and continue on the path of sustainable growth. “Whilst we will benefit from the SPAR global network and support services, we will not lose sight of our need to strengthen local manufacturers, distributors and retailers, giving back to our local economy”.

SPAR’s managing director Tobias Wasmuht said that the deal will allow independent retailers on the island “to respond to growing market concentration in Cyprus of national and international chains while meeting the needs of both local and international tourist shoppers”.

“Unifiying together as SPAR Cyprus permits, the progressive independent retailers of Cyprus to maintain their independence whilst seizing the benefits of a strong international food retail brand with the scale benefits of a buying group operating on both a national and international level,” the SPAR executive added.


About Author

Stelios Orphanides is a journalist at CyprusBusinessMail.com. To contact Stelios Orphanides: [email protected]

  • Roger Thecabinboy

    Many will know Spar from the UK where it tends to be smaller sized “convenience” stores that used to be called “corner shops” – (some are on corners) – average UK store size in 2014 was 149 sq m. Only Germany had a smaller average store size – I do not think it has quite the Cachet of the larger Supermarket Chains in the UK, and may struggle to gain a foothold in an already crowded market in Cyprus, unless it really can show value for money, in particular to attract the majority of the buyers to whom low price is a big factor. For most food buyers few are going to pay for a more expensive product simply because it comes from a particular store chain, when other stores may sell products not of quite the same quality but good enough and above all cheaper. That and parking….

    • Cydee

      Even in the UK Spar doesn’t rate highly against other, independent, corner shops.

  • mercman1952

    I’m just waiting for “ALDI”

    • Roger Thecabinboy

      We already have Lidl…

  • Anna Shakalis

    Spar! Now if it was Asda or Tesco I’d be chuffed, but SPAR! Hummm

    • peemdubya

      They are all much of a muchness these days, anyway…

  • Neroli

    Spar?? Yuk

    • Snob ! 😉

      • Neroli

        Yep! Only No Name kiosk for me!!

  • Roger Thecabinboy

    I was right… Many do know Spar from the UK… A friend of mine had a holiday job at one…out of date packaged product was unpacked and put in the deli counter as fresh…

  • Brian Whiffen

    they will have to be sharp to compete with Lidl or if you ever get them Aldi, very keen pricing and we have found the quality first rate [fresh meat and veg is far superior to that of Tesco or Wallmart in the UK, Spar in the UK have always been convenient stores not cheap but useful if you need something in a rush.

    • Competition is good.

      • Brian Whiffen

        but it will be run by CTC ..you know the Cypriot way, if they don’t have enough customers instead of cutting prices to compete they will op the prices to cover the losses.

    • peemdubya

      Can’t see Aldi coming over here, not after the Lidl “experience” with their first store after getting the trading license……………..

    • mercman1952

      So true I bet the big boys ain’t laughing now…..

  • JS Gost

    So the Shacolas Group increases it’s stranglehold on the economy of Cyprus.

    • Mike-H

      Jack of all trades, master of none. I feel the standard of the saver centre paphos ha dropped, even the toilets were out of order for some weeks.

  • Jeremy Rigg

    So now we know why the GB shops have been put out of business, Well done Shacoholic.

  • Alex

    We need more Spa’s not more Spars…..

    • Mist

      Bits of boats?

      • peemdubya

        No, that would have been ships as well…..

    • peemdubya

      That is what I thought my missus was on about when she read it out to me – “Where are they going to build 20 spas?” was my response…..

  • MountainMan

    There I was, hoping for a Sainsbury’s

    • peemdubya

      It has most of the letters in the name, only the “P” is missing………….