A truly beautiful new SPAR has just opened in Kalubowila, Sri Lanka, where place names, like those here in the Beloved Country, tend to run to a few syllables. The new store is SPAR’s second in that newly resurgent geography and it’s everything you’d expect from a spanking new SPAR, plus, as seen in this extremely cheerful video, a couple of local additions: spices forever, a magnificently stocked and appointed fish section, and a promise above each gondola end that Every Rupee Counts. The original store, at Thalawathigoda in Colombo, has just received its wine and spirits license. SPAR plans to open at least another 44 stores by 2023, primarily through its proven method of developing independent retailers. Its Sri Lankan business is owned 50/50 in a JV with Ceylon Biscuits Limited. Sri Lanka has emerged as a retail hotspot in recent years, with rising consumer disposable income, increased urbanisation, growing tourism and the shift to a more formal food retail economy.
Comment: The expansion of SPAR South Africa into unexpected new territories is one of the great South African business stories of the current decade. We look forward to seeing how it unfolds.