SPAR has set up shop in Malta, with plans to open 23 stores – including two hypermarkets – across the country by 2025.
The food retail chain’s first store, a supermarket in Marsaxlokk, opened its doors to customers on Tuesday.
A second outlet in Tigne is expected to open by the end of the month.
SPAR plans to be present in 23 different locations within eight years.
Two of those will be INTERSPAR hypermarkets, four will be large-format supermarkets and 17 will be neighbourhood stores.
SPAR is an international group of independently-owned retailers who work together under a franchised brand. With 12,500 stores across 42 countries, it is the largest voluntary food retail chain in the world.
In Malta, the brand will be operated by the Azzopardi Group, which is most renowned for its Azzopardi Fisheries and Miracle Foods stores. The local company received a license to operate under the SPAR brand in late 2016.
SPAR International managing director Tobias Wasmuht said that Malta’s international and tourist population made Malta an ideal market to develop for the brand.
“This launch marks another significant milestone for SPAR strengthening our operations in Southern Europe and in the Eurozone aligned with our expansion strategy,” he said.
“SPAR’s global presence and high standards in retail best practice will complement the Azzopardi Group’s local expertise in the Maltese retail market,” Azzopardi Group managing director Joseph Azzopardi added.