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Founded in Holland in 1932 by Mr Adriaan van Well, SPAR is now the world's largest international food retail chain, with 13,600 stores in 33 countries. They are also the UK's leading convenience store group, with a turnover in excess of £2.7 billion.

A global brand with a local touch.

SPAR was set up in the UK in 1957 with five founding wholesale members. The business is now made up of six wholesale members servicing more than 2,600 stores. They also employ over 50,000 people in the UK.

SPAR is a ‘symbol’ group, which means individual SPAR members retain their independence but enjoy the advantages of belonging to a global brand. SPAR members reap the benefits of being part of a large international organisation with collective buying and marketing power, a strong corporate image and impressive back-up resources.

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Lacklustre 1 out of 10

Posted by Peter in Pinhoe Road on Friday, 15 Nov 2013.

Note that this review is more than 6 months old and the company's procedures may have changed considerably since this review was written.
I have already seen one other poor review of this outlet on Google. In my experience a number of the staff in this shop are discourteous to the point of actually being rude. On my last visit (and believe me it certainly was my 'last' visit) after quite a few minutes waiting in line I placed several items on the counter and was asked curtly if I needed a bag, to which I responded with a polite affirmative, the polythene carrier was duly thrust in my general direction while the items were nonchalantly scanned and placed very deliberately back down on the counter leaving me with no alternative but to seize the initiative and transfer them into the flimsy conveyance myself. I have some experience of working in shops and I fail to see how assisting customers or at least offering to help pack is anything but common courtesy, especially given the queue of weary faced fellow shoppers building steadily behind me. In short we all lost valuable moments of our lives. Leaving the politeness aspect aside, I dread to think what any assiduous 'Time and Motion' inspector would have to say about this. If some of the staff working in this shop really are so disgruntled with their lot maybe they should consider a change of job- I'm sure they would be more than adequately qualified for a career with Ryanair for example. I would also advise anyone purchasing wine from this shop to keep a close eye on the labelling as the till has a worrying tendency to disagree with what's displayed on the shelves especially in the case of 'special offers'. As a final point I also recently bought a box of white wine from the shop and found it to be "corked" - to be fair this does deserve some degree of admiration - I hadn't previously believed that such a thing was even actually possible, so well done there! Thankfully, Magdalen Road has a whole host of independent outlets all run by friendly courteous people, so it certainly won't be any hardship avoiding this shop in future and I'll be encouraging others to do the same.

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Spar is currently ranked 652 in the directory.
Last month its rank was 1676.

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