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Mon 18 Apr 2016 01:54 PM

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SPAR International said to target 24 new stores in Oman

Dutch supermarket retailer is reportedly planning major GCC expansion in coming years

SPAR International said to target 24 new stores in Oman

Dutch supermarket chain SPAR International reportedly plans to open 24 outlets in Oman by 2017, as part of significant expansion plans in the Gulf.

In an interview with Times of Oman, Tobias Wasmuht, managing director of SPAR International, said: “This year, we plan to open 14 stores. By the end of 2017 we will have 24 outlets across Oman.”

He did not reveal the planned locations of the stores, but said SPAR was focusing on a multi-format retail offer – unlike the large store formats of regional giants such as Carrefour and Lulu – tailored to suit particular regions.

“I think there is considerable opportunity for multi-format retailing in Oman, which today is very much historically driven by hypermarkets. The future will show that there is not only opportunity but demand for greater variety of formats.”

The openings will reportedly be overseen by SPAR’s Oman franchise parter Khimji Ramdas.

Wasmuht was quoted as saying: “If we look at Oman within the GCC in terms of food retail, about seven percent of food retail comes from Oman.

“Oman for SPAR will be of greater significance and importance. Oman punches above its weight and we believe we have a strong partner.”

There is also a big opportunity to exploit the “fragmented” GCC market.

 “If you look at the current market in GCC, the most concentrated market is UAE where the top three retail players have 27 percent share of the market.

“In Saudi Arabia, the top three players have only 12 percent of share. In the GCC, the market is pretty fragmented and our role is using our multi-format retail strategy, large extensive store network over the coming years to get a major share of that market,” he was quoted as saying.

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