SPAR was first established in Austria in 1954, before expanding in the 1970s when the original founding families joined with other regional wholesalers to form SPAR Austria AG, a 100% privately owned Austrian company. SPAR has since grown into a food retail giant, generating €5.68 billion in food sales. The group also owns the Hervis sports fash-ion brand that sells a further €490 million and a shopping center business with revenues of €2.85 billion.
From the introduction of the cash register to customer loyalty cards and business intelligence, SPAR has thrived during constant retail revolutions. But today’s tech-savvy consumers expect to be able to jump from mobile app to website and then visit a store to request home delivery. How could SPAR keep up with the enormous pace of change?
SPAR is an international group of independently owned and operated retailers and wholesalers who work together in partnership under the SPAR Brand to provide high quality, value-for-money shopping experience for the communities we serve.
SPAR is the world’s leading voluntary food retail chain. The business started with one Dutch store in 1932 and now comprises more than 13,600 stores in over 48 countries on four continents.
To break the technical administration cycle, the SPAR ICS team looked to move away from traditional infrastructure and application maintenance, instead of focusing on a service-oriented architecture. SPAR ICS sought a partner able to provide a complete managed infrastructure environment that it could access on a pay-as-you-grow, pay-for-what-you-use basis.
This change in a strategy aimed to remove the technical burden from its own staff, who would then be free to work closely with the business units on developing innovative retail solutions. Additionally, SPAR ICS saw that partnering with a service provider offered the opportunity to eliminate capital expenditure (capex) on physical systems, paying for computing and storage capacity as an operational expense (opex).
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