A three-year growth strategy for SPAR supermarkets.

Walk into any of the 13.000 Spar shops around the world and you immediately know that SPAR is not your average supermarket chain. What sets them apart from the competition? They are a network of independent entrepreneurs that are all dedicated to creating value for their local communities. And it's that devotion to their customers that puts the SPAR in sparkle.

Let's get digital.

SPAR has a vision to help their shop owners delivery high-quality, value-for-money shopping experiences to their communities. But how do you stay connected to your community in a world where online shopping has become the default and your business model is designed around a physical touch point? Right, you need to go digital.

And that is exactly what the newly appointed SPAR Board wanted to do when they reached out for our help. Their goal was to accelerate their digital shift by creating strong online value propositions for their entrepreneurs.

Here's how we partnered-up to take the team from ambition to real results.

First stop. A clear growth strategy.

Together with the Board, we sharpened their vision and ambition for the future.

Together we designed their 3-year growth strategy with clear and ambitious criteria for success.

Next-up. From idea to value.

Once our goal was clear we tagged along a bigger group. In co-creation with the bigger team, we identified new markets, ideated different business model options, and sketched various value propositions such as a staff-free shopping experiences

The Board selected different on-strategy growth projects for further exploration.

In the six months after that, we worked together with the different innovation teams. Together, we turned their ideas into kick-ass digital prototypes. We set up experiments and validated the most critical assumptions by running in-market experiments with SPAR entrepreneurs and consumers. After the pilot period, we presented the results back to the Executive Board. 

The projects that met the growth criteria after the pilot were added to the strategy roadmap. They will be tested and developed further until they are ready for handover and full integration into daily SPAR operations.

From co-creation to continuous innovation.

Creating a strategy in co-creation with a bigger team was a completely new experience for SPAR. Both the Board and the broader team were excited from the beginning. Throughout the process, they learned new tools, skills and adopted an innovation mindset.

After the first round of successful innovation and implementation SPAR is on their way to marketing their digital transformation a reality.

Now, once an innovation cycle is completed, the innovation teams go back to identifying opportunities and testing. With a strong handover approach, SPAR has made business model innovation an integral part of its daily business operations.

“I have never experienced such energy around strategy and innovation from my people.”

John van der Ent, CEO SPAR Netherlands
John van der Ent, CEO SPAR Netherlands

Real results in the making.

Half way through the implementation of the 3-year strategy we are happy to share some results with you already.

  • The shared vision brought clarity in the strategic direction of SPAR for the next years to come.

  • The co-creation exercise set the whole SPAR team on fire - figuratively, don't worry ;)

  • The teams took responsibility and ownership of the projects as they felt part of the strategy and growth ambition.

  • The first value propositions are live.

  • Innovation is now a part of SPAR's business planning. There are teams that continuously identify and start exploring new growth options that contribute to the vision.

Are you looking for a growth strategy with capital G?

Meet Patrick. He is your guy.

Patrick van der Pijl
Patrick van der Pijl