Under the partnership, up to 60 Spar Mongolia multi-format stores will be opened in the country by 2020. The deal was officially signed during a visit by Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte to the Mongolian capital, Ulaanbaatar.
Max Group runs Max Food supermarkets, which will be rebranded Spar. New Spar supermarkets will roll out from next year.
Based in the Netherlands, Spar had global retail sales of €33 billion (US$36 billion) last year from more than 12,100 stores across four continents. Mongolia, which borders China and Russia, is the 43rd country on Spar’s international roster.
“It is greatly encouraging to see a company like Spar, which started as a partnership of Dutch retailers and wholesalers more than 80 years ago, helping bring retail best practice to the Mongolian marketplace,” Rutte said at the contract signing.
Spar International MD Tobias Wasmuht says the company sees Mongolia as a dynamic and rapidly developing consumer market with a growing demand for world-class food retail.
“We are highly confident we can build on our strong presence in the region by leveraging our scale with the Spar operations in neighbouring Irkutsk, Russia and Inner Mongolia, China.
“This collaboration, combined with our modern retail formats, supply chain and international sourcing as well as investing in the training and development in people locally, will act as a significant support structure for the growth and development of Spar in Mongolia.”
Max Group is a family business with interests including supermarkets, fast-food restaurants (it has the Burger King franchise), department stores, real estate and precious metal mining, and is Mongolia’s largest dairy producer. It employs more than 2000 people and earns about €50 million annually in retail sales.
Spar works with independent retailers by sharing global scale and expertise.