Spar looks to expand in Africa

14 July 2011

South African wholesaler The Spar Group, which already has stores in Namibia, Botswana, Mozambique, Swaziland and Zimbabwe, is considering further business opportunities in Africa, Business Report reported on Wednesday.

The group would tailor its business model to expand into other territories, but any expansion outside South Africa would be done cautiously, chief executive of the JSE-listed group, Wayne Hook, said.

“We will expand elsewhere in Africa, but we will take it step by step. We are not going to rush it.

“Our model for expansion in Africa needs to be tailored, so it may not be true wholesale.”

He said that the group was looking at a few countries, but as a wholesaler it could not invest R300-million to R400-million in a distribution centre without the store base to supply.

The Spar Group is a wholesaler that distributes to independent retailers who own and operate about 850 Spar stores in South Africa and southern Africa, and who are part of a voluntary trading association.

Outside South Africa the group has stores in Namibia, Botswana and Swaziland and owns a 35 percent stake in a Zimbabwean business that operates 68 Spar stores. It recently opened a Spar and a Build-It in Mozambique.

Hook said the group would continue with its expansion in southern Africa before it looked further north.

It was considering Angola, but “we need to find someone there we can work with”.

South African Press Association