SPAR Zimbabwe : A Sparkling Success

Josh RayfieldEd Budds
Josh Rayfield - Senior Head of Projects Ed Budds - Editor
At A Glance
  • SPAR Zimbabwe is part of an international brand with access to shared knowledge that spans years, continents, and cultures, as well as economies and macro-environments.
  • Serving 14 million customers a year and employing over 2,000 people, the SPAR Zimbabwe model is community-based and consumer-centric, working under the mantra of ‘every kind of SPAR for every kind of people’.
  • SPAR Zimbabwe is currently comprised of 34 SPAR stores, 18 of which are corporate, and the remaining 16 are independently owned.
  • “Africa is a beautiful continent, and we are delighted to play our part in the sustainability drive for its future,” says Huston G. Munyoro, Operations Executive, SPAR Zimbabwe.

At SPAR Zimbabwe, the company’s mission statement is “Better Together”. Remaining passionate, committed to family values, and professional leaders in all that it does, we take a trip down the aisles with Operations Executive, Huston G. Munyoro.

A SPARKLING SUCCESS

The retail industry in Africa is an exciting space to occupy! Of course, it has its challenges, but mostly, I see huge opportunities for the sector.”  

Just as Huston G. Munyoro, Operations Executive, is optimistic about the prospects of the retail space, SPAR Zimbabwe is lucky to be part of an international brand with access to shared information and knowledge that spans years, continents, and cultures, as well as economies and macro-environments.  

This access to information is invaluable, and SPAR Zimbabwe remains positive and excited about fresh trends in the global retail sector that it plans to develop and explore.   

At present, the company is particularly interested in developments in retail theatre, the customer experience, and the cross-pollination of physical and digital spaces, as well as the move towards more targeted, meaningful connections with consumers through access to data. 

“The vast technological advances in the retail sector are also exciting, and we see great opportunity in improving energy efficiencies and reducing our carbon footprint. Africa is a beautiful continent, and we are delighted to play our part in the sustainability drive for its future.” 

SPAR Zimbabwe is made up of 34 SPAR stores, 18 of which are corporate, and the remaining 16 independently owned. The company also has 16 TOPS at SPAR liquor stores, five quick service restaurant outlets, as well as two in-store cafés, a shop-within-a-shop concept selling home décor and accessories, and Carnival at SPAR, a fun, young brand selling ice cream, sweets, and desserts. 

“We have stores in all the major cities and towns throughout the country, from the capital, Harare, down to Beitbridge on the border with South Africa and across to Mutare,” Munyoro affirms. 

Currently serving 14 million customers a year and employing over 2,000 people, the SPAR Zimbabwe model is community-based and consumer-centric, working under the mantra of ‘every kind of SPAR for every kind of people’.

“Africa is a beautiful continent, and we are delighted to play our part in the sustainability drive for its future”

Huston G. Munyoro, Operations Executive, SPAR Zimbabwe

SOCIAL STEWARDS

SPAR Zimbabwe’s community-based business model continues to differentiate the company from its competitors.    

“We are proud to serve the communities in which our stores operate. Our mission statement is “Better Together”, and we make it our business to be at the forefront of community issues and play our part in fulfilling what the community needs,” states Munyoro. 

From different store layouts and specific product selections to specialised foods and in-store décor, SPAR Zimbabwe’s stores are always unique.  

“While we are not as big as some of our direct competitors, we are able to tailor our service department offering and, to a large extent, avoid the mass-produced, big supermarket culture,” he declares. 

Instead, the company chooses to focus on customer service, having a great range for every community, and being the best in fresh. 

“One of the things I love about being part of the SPAR brand is the commitment to responsible retailing. At SPAR Zimbabwe, we take this very seriously, and many of our ongoing projects and campaigns involve working within our communities to make things better.”  

SPAR Zimbabwe’s pillars of responsible retailing include women, children, the environment, animal welfare, and a healthy, active lifestyle. 

PRIDE IN PROCESS

As an international brand, SPAR places extreme emphasis on working closely with its supply partners; this is no different from the company’s operations in Zimbabwe.   

“Relationships with our suppliers are key to ensuring that we are able to offer a relevant, diverse range of products. We source locally wherever possible, particularly perishables and fresh fruit and vegetables, to ensure that the route-to-market is as short and efficient as possible,” Munyoro tells us. 

Freshness is one of SPAR Zimbabwe’s key selling points, and the company prides itself on being flexible and quick to respond to the specific needs of its shoppers.   

“We have local and regional distribution partners, as well as access to international imports through the worldwide SPAR organisation,” he expands. 

Taking care of the entire SPAR Zimbabwe family is one of the company’s core values, with its people identified as its most important asset.  

Furthermore, SPAR Zimbabwe has a dedicated human resources and development department that is in charge of new employee onboarding, orientation, and training, as well as talent identification, succession planning, and knowledge transfer.   

“We run an annual awards programme where stores and individuals are acknowledged for exceptional performance, as well as ongoing long-service awards.” 

All SPAR Zimbabwe staff are encouraged to make use of the online SPAR Academy training modules, and the company promotes from within where possible to offer all employees the opportunity to grow.  

INNOVATION AND EXPANSION

SPAR Zimbabwe launched its online shop in 2018, so when the COVID-19 pandemic hit a couple of years later, the company was already well placed to react and counteract the ensuing industry turbulence.  

“Our priorities have become increasingly digital, especially on the marketing side, where our focus is on being as sustainable and green as possible, whilst also remaining relevant and visible to our customers,” Munyoro divulges.   

“We launched our loyalty app, SPAR Rewards 2.0, at the end of 2023. A lot of our focus is on developing this, with the aim of becoming more directly relevant to customers, recognising their individuality, and rewarding their loyalty to SPAR Zimbabwe,” he adds. 

Meanwhile, the company continues to identify opportunities to expand its physical presence to different communities.   

SPAR Zimbabwe also recently launched its quick-service restaurant brands, Chikka Chicken and Pikka Pizza, which has been a challenging but rewarding learning curve for the company.   

These fast-food brands are growing, and this is an area that SPAR Zimbabwe hopes to further expand into over the next five years.   

“Beantree is a great concept which is another unique selling point for SPAR Zimbabwe – we currently have two Beantree restaurants, allowing customers the opportunity to eat, drink, and relax in comfortable surroundings before or after shopping.” 

Meanwhile, another innovative addition to the SPAR Zimbabwe offering is Carnival at SPAR, a fun brand focusing on ice cream and treats. This concept has seen one store launched this year, and the company plans to open three more over the next six to 12 months. 

Although, like the rest of the world, the country has its own inflationary challenges, SPAR Zimbabwe remains committed to growing the SPAR brand and plans to open two new stores this year, alongside a revamp of its existing locations.   

“We continue to invest in modern retail technology to ensure that our offering is always dynamic and unique. Our goal is to be the leading brand and retailer in Zimbabwe,” Munyoro concludes.

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By Josh Rayfield Senior Head of Projects
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Josh Rayfield sources the collaborations with business leaders, brands, and C-suite executives that feature in Food & Beverage Outlook Magazine. Josh is actively seeking collaborations for future editions.
By Ed Budds Editor
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Ed Budds is an in-house writer for Food & Beverage Outlook Magazine, where he is responsible for interviewing corporate executives and crafting original features for the magazine, corporate brochures, and the digital platform.