Ermes Department Stores has announced a new strategic partnership with SPAR International, the massive groceries retailer operating in 44 countries around the world, now set to open a chain of stores in Cyprus.
According to an announcement in the Cyprus Stock Exchange, the new company to be created in Cyprus, aims to establish and manage the biggest co-operation in retail foodstores and to become the leading wholesale and retail service provider to independent retailers in Cyprus, through expert leadership, cooperation and support.
“The partnership between the world’s largest voluntary food retail chain and Cyprus’s leading retail company will bring a new dynamic to the existing competitive retail market in the country. Both entities bring a wealth of experience and expertise to this new venture,” says Ermes.
SPAR, which has 12,545 stores in 44 countries, recently reported global turnover of €33.1 billion for 2016. Ermes is the leading retail company in Cyprus in Apparel, Cosmetics, DIY and Electrical appliances, operating more than 90 retail shops, seven of which are in Greece, with over 75,000sq m of retail space.
The goal, says the company, is for the first SPAR stores to become operational in the first quarter of 2018, and more than 20 SPAR stores to open over the next five years.
The SPAR network of stores will be comprised of both stores that have been transformed to fit the SPAR model, and by new stores to be developed by Ermes.
SPAR International is providing support on retail layout and design, SPAR private label product procurement, retail staff training and development, supply chain optimisation, retail location assessment, project management, retail operations, and brand building marketing campaigns.
“This access to international SPAR best practice will be combined with local expertise and skills to provide independent retailers with a full package of solutions and tools to enable them to thrive and survive in a very competitive market,” says the company in its announcement.
Speaking about the new strategic partnership, Marios Shacolas, Executive Chairman and CEO of The Cyprus Trading Corporation PLC said “The Ermes Group vision for the future is to maintain market leadership in Cyprus and through new strategic alliances and associations create the right framework for continued profitable growth without compromising our social responsibility.”
“Whilst we will benefit from the SPAR global network and support services, we will not lose sight of our need to strengthen local manufacturers, distributors and retailers, giving back to our local economy,” said Shacolas.
“This new partnership with SPAR is the perfect opportunity to achieve this vision and we are very confident in this new venture.”