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Spar was founded in 1932 in Zegwaart, South Holland, Netherlands by Adriaan van Well, who was an innovative Dutch wholesaler. It was originally named De Spar, which is an acronym of the Dutch phrase 'Door Eendrachtig Samenwerken Profiteren Allen Regelmatig', translating to 'We all benefit from joint cooperation'. The Spar name and the current logo were most recently revised in 1968 by Raymond Loewy and have remained the same since then.

Spar is now the largest food retail chain in the world, operating in 42 countries and serving over 13 million customers every day. Most Spar stores are in Europe, but they can also be found in countries such as Nigeria, South Africa, Australia, China, India and Japan. Their current headquarters are located in Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

Franchise System

Spar operate a multi-format retail strategy that includes Spar, Spar Express, Eurospar and Interspar. This allows Spar partners to meet the needs of customers in different markets and locations.

Spar retailers have access to the online SPAR Guild Training Academy. This provides retailers with induction and legislative training, operational excellence and retail management accredited qualifications.

Spar is one of the most well-known grocery retail brands in the world. Partners benefit from this global brand recognition. They are also provided with an extensive marketing package.

Corporate Social Responsibility

Spar believe in providing quality products and display nutritional information on all their own international brand products. They have developed partnerships with local schools and sports clubs. They also created the Spar Nutrition Zone website which aims to provide customers with the information needed for a healthy lifestyle including exercise tips, recipes and nutritional information.

Spar Ireland launched their Better Choices and Better Choices Kids ranges in summer 2016 with ambassador Claudine Keane. The initiative aims to provide healthier convenience foods choices for people and families on the go across the fresh food, deli and grocery ranges.

Spar worked with dietician Ellen Roche over many months to research and select products to include in the range.

In Italy, Despar and Eurospar have partnered with Ergon to encourage customers to recycle by providing recycling facilities in stores. Customers receive a discount voucher to redeem at the checkout for every bag of waste submitted, or a 2 cent discount for every plastic bottle recycled. The more customers recycle the more discounts they receive to encourage participation. Solar energy panels and charging points for electric cars have also been installed in some of these stores.

Spar South Africa have implemented a Sustainable Seafood Policy. They support sustainable fishing, and ensure their own brand seafood including tuna, salmon, hake and prawns are responsibly produced without reducing the species ability to maintain its population.

In 2012, Spar became a member of the Amsterdam Initiative Against Malnutrition (AIM). The initiative involves over 30 stakeholders to combat global malnutrition. Spar International and Spar South Africa led the Rural Retail Hubs project, which focused on improving food grown by small-scale farmers in South Africa by providing them with training, access to resources and financial support.


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