SPAR’s thirty years of significance in the Hungarian economy

SPAR Hungary has been a significant player in the Hungarian economy and retail market for three decades now. As one of the biggest employers in the country, SPAR provides jobs to nearly 13 000 people and supports family businesses, producers, and farmers. The company celebrating a jubilee reacts to customer demands by modernising with the advances in environmental and social sustainability. 

 “Over the course of the last 30 years, our company has not only become an important part of the Hungarian economy, but one that has helped shape it. We have contributed to the development of the national economy with over 400 billion HUF, and have supported different social, environmental, sport, educational, and cultural development initiatives with more than 1 billion HUF. We are proud to provide job security to almost 13 000 people whose contributions we are especially grateful for. Our commitment to Hungary is clearly demonstrated through our produce range, with 90% of the products sourced from locally operated companies. It has been a long-standing priority for us to support and help the Hungarian agriculture and food processing industries, as well as bring family businesses and Hungarian farmers into the market,” explained Márk Maczelka, head of communications at SPAR Hungary.

SPAR Magyarország Kereskedelmi Kft. has launched operation in 1990, and the first supermarket was opened in the town of Tata in 1991. During the last three decades, the chain has expanded to have 588 members, due to 647 billion HUF investments made throughout these years. The retail chain has continuously expanded in Hungary and has become a major company in Hungarian retail trade. Last year, SPAR had 381 own-operated stores: 324 SPAR supermarkets, 23 City SPAR supermarkets and 34 INTERSPAR hypermarkets. Important steps of this development also included the opening of the popular franchise units, present in the country in four additional store formats: SPAR partner, SPAR market, OMV-SPAR express and LUKOIL-DESPAR. Compared to 2 stores in the first year, the number of franchise stores has also risen to 207 by 2021, located in 94 different municipalities throughout the country.

Our practices and business policies to support the Hungarian economy have been a priority for a long time. The ratio of SPAR’s domestic suppliers has been between 85%-90% in the last ten years and in 2020 it was 89%. For several product groups, the retail chain exclusively sells goods that are locally manufactured. During the pandemic it is especially important to support and stimulate the national economy. SPAR has shown their dedication, joining a campaign (Vedd a hazait! Védd a hazait!) to encourage customers to buy and protect local products, as well as launching the “Hungaricool by SPAR competition” – a unique initiative to support Hungarian product development.

There are more and more customers doing their grocery shopping through the online shop every day. An investment of 960 million HUF enabled the launch of SPAR’s online shop in 2019. Customers can enjoy the benefits of this across Budapest and in almost 50 towns in the area, as well as in Tatabánya, Kecskemét, Zalaegerszeg and their catchment areas, and a further nine spots in the Lake Velence region located in popular tourist destinations.

In conjunction with the ongoing and significant extension of the store network, the high volumes of meat and meat product sales have laid the ground for the foundation of the Regnum meat processing plant, SPAR’s own factory. Seeing the constantly growing demand, the company has made the decision to expand its production capacity and acquired the Perbál plant unit of ZIMBO Perbál Húsipari Termelő Kft. which operates as Regnum Meat Processing Plant Perbál since 2 November 2020. In 2020, a staff of 368 has worked in the SPAR meat processing facilities. With the transformation of consumer needs, the demand for fast and quality meals has increased, so the expansion of the convenience product range was given a prominent place among the company’s product developments in 2018. In order to support this process, the company has established the SPAR enjoy. convenience plant in Üllő. In just two year, production figures doubled, and the new facility has realised about 3.2 billion HUF turnover during the last three years.

The company has started to introduce own-brand products to the market in 1997, and it has expanded the private label range ever since, presently providing 31 types of own-brand product groups to customers. The retail chain distributes more than 3 600 private-label goods under its own brands, with food products constituting more than half of these. SPAR also focuses on improvements related to maximising customer experience, introduces likeable and practicaly novelties to customers, ensuring that the everyday shopping activities are turned into an experience.

In its first year of operation in Hungary, SPAR employed 50 people. This number has grown to close to 13 000 today, making SPAR one of the biggest employers in the country. At the end of 2020, 97% were full-time employees, with 72% female and 28% male having an average age of 40; and 43% of employees have been with SPAR Hungary for at least seven years. The retail chain rewards the dedication of the employees with competitive salary packages and additional employee benefits. Most SPAR employees are entitled to regular extra benefits; between 2016 and 2020, the company has spent a total of 1942 million HUF on SZÉP Cards, a further 872 million HUF on SPAR gift cards, and 4762 million HUF on employee travel allowances.

In addition to environmental sustainability, SPAR also takes major efforts to contribute to social sustainability, to play an active role in corporate social responsibility. With its nationwide network it can contribute to supporting local initiatives and sends food donations to people in need, in cooperation with its strategic partner, the Hungarian Maltese Charity Service.

SPAR Magyarország Kereskedelmi Kft. has released a 74-page exclusive brochure to mark the 30-year jubilee of the company’s foundation. The corporate scorecard that presents the company’s history and its influence on the Hungarian economy was coordinated by KPMG Tanácsadó Kft., Hungary’s leading audit and business advisory firm. The publication is a research project completed with short analyses, covering all areas of SPAR’s operations and business achievements, from network building, factory site development, and brand expansion, to their corporate environmental, social and employment policies. 

The publication can be accessed on the website.

For more information please contact:

Márk Maczelka, head of communications

SPAR Magyarország Kereskedelmi Kft. ∙ 2060, Bicske, SPAR út

Mobile: +36 20 823 7891 ∙ E-mail:

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