Our History

The story of SPAR in the early years stems from Adriaan Van Well, a Dutch wholesaler with vision. He was inspired by a simple yet powerful philosophy – independent wholesalers and retailers can achieve more by working together than working alone. It was the belief of Van Well that only through working in co-operation could the independent wholesale and retail sector survive and prosper in the face of increasing competition from multiple chains.

In the late 1950's four grocery stores in Salisbury (now Harare) joined together to form a buying group, one of which was the Divaris Brothers.

They called themselves "The Four Just Men" (after Edgar Wallace's latest thriller at the time), and had buying meetings every ten days. After reading in the Sunday Times about SPAR's launch in South Africa, they decided to apply to SPAR South Africa for a Franchise.

Vic Taitz and George Divaris travelled to Johannesburg and met with the directors of SPAR South Africa who agreed to grant the franchise rights to two wholesalers being Pick and Save in Salisbury and Gordon Brothers in Bulawayo.

SPAR in Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) prospered but sanctions with South Africa forced the two wholesalers to seek their own rights directly from SPAR International in 1966 making Zimbabwe the 13th country to join SPAR's worldwide expansion.

Global Footprint

SPAR Zimbabwe is part of a wider SPAR family of 46 countries on 4 continents, employing over 350,000 people in over 12,500 stores in the world.

Who We Are

At SPAR we continuously strive to achieve the highest standards of quality in all areas, from our warm and dedicated service to all our products with the objective of consistently meeting the individual needs of every customer in a caring and homely environment.

There are three important factors in the continued growth of this unique organisation of independent retailers. Firstly, we have great pride in the achievement of being the world’s largest food store chain. Secondly, in SPAR we understand that it is our people who make the difference. Finally, we are passionate about meeting the real needs of our consumers!

SPAR is made up of 37 locally owned independent retailers across the country. The retailers apply to become sub-licensees of the SPAR brand.

SPAR worldwide prides itself on its commitment to the community, and SPAR Zimbabwe is no exception.  All SPAR stores nationwide interact directly with the communities within which they operate, investing time, energy and money into local community projects including clinics, orphanages, sports events and schools, to name a few. SPAR retailers have a culture of strong family values and work ethic, a spirit of sharing with the fellow retailers and giving back to local communities.

SPAR Zimbabwe supports several charities at National level, including Childline Zimbabwe, ZNSPCA and Zimpact, as well as several other charities at individual store level.  At SPAR, we believe in our Mission Statement: Better Together.

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