How to supply to your local Spar | Opportunities | Small Business Connect

Abel Mponda

Those businesses interested in supplying Spar can now liaise directly with one of the supermarket chain’s nationwide franchised stores instead of having to go through the company’s the head office..

With more than 850 branches nationwide, Spar Group Ltd, is one of the biggest retailers in South Africa. Many of these branches are franchise stores that are owned and run by independent entrepreneurs.

As part of its My Spar initiative, the company allows franchisees to sell products that meet the demands of the communities they operate in.

This means that franchise owners like Abel Mponda, who owns the Harare Spar in Khayelitsha, can procure directly from local small businesses.

Mponda says although the bulk of his supplies come from a Spar distribution centre, many of the store’s products are bought from small local suppliers.

“We source many of our goods from local businesses and I choose to interact directly with my suppliers,” he says.

This lets the stores assess whether or not a prospective supplier is compliant with product health and quality standards, which are important in the retail business.

To be considered for a contract, a business must be registered and compliant with health codes such as Spar’s Minimum Standard for food safety and hygiene, or accredited under the South African National Standards for food hygiene management as a retail goods supplier.

Mukudzei Mudhefi, senior buyer at Spar, says interested suppliers should first make an appointment to meet with store management.

“We then invite the supplier to the store to present documents like the business’ proof of registration, health certificates in the respective industry and a sample of their product,” he says.

The process takes only one day, says Mudhefi, who adds that products that pass the assessment are placed on the shelf for a number of days.

“If customers buy the goods we then award the supplier an extended contract of up to one year,” he says.

When contracted, a supplier must be eligible to produce 95% of their product on each delivery.

“The retail industry is a real-time business and to avoid running out of stock each delivery must be closer to the expected target and be delivered timeously,” says Mudhefi.

Opportunities for suppliers who meet the requirements include recommendations to other Spar branches.

Mponda explains; “We regularly meet with other Spar branch managements to expose newer products that small suppliers are bringing into the market”.

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