Zambian entrepreneurs take over Crossroads SPAR
The recent turn over of some SPAR outlets to Pick n Pay and Choppies has cast some doubts in the retail sector on what the future holds for the chain store brand in Zambia.
There is however some good news, some of the Spar outlets will not close down or turn over their locations to competitors. There is a fight back that is at play which may just see the Spar Brand reclaiming its rightful possition.
Davies Chintala who is the co-owner and part of the team that has taken over of Crossroads SPAR has disclosed to the Zambian Business Times – ZBT that their main goal is to return it to its former glory.
“We formed our own company, what we did is we approached SPAR Zambia, and we said give us an opportunity to run one of the stores. We obviously negotiated the sale of the business to us.
And I must say that SPAR Zambia has been helpful in the sense that they gave us an opportunity to negotiate and take over the running of the business as our own”, he said.
When asked where he wants to see SPAR in the future, Chintala said, that he would like to see more local entrepreneurs join the umbrella of SPAR family and boost the SPAR brand in Zambia.
“I think where I would like to see SPARs in Zambia in the near future, is to have a lot more entrepreneurs and independent retailers joining the SPAR family either from their own existing businesses or more local entrepreneurs to open more SPARs in Zambia.
Remember at one stage, the main concentration of SPARs in Zambia was Lusaka, then came SPAR Choma, Livingstone and Chipata.
“So there is a bit of representation, but not enough. For me where I would like to see ourselves in 5/10 years is where we can say there are more SPARs in the country that are owner managed and not corporate stores”, he said.
He also stressed that SPAR is a very powerful brand that can help Zambians to be empowered and custodians of their own businesses, as SPAR operates as a franchise which gives you the leverage to operate and own your own store.
“SPAR is a powerful brand. Yes there may be some historical issues around it, but we need to move on from that and be an example to people, that as Zambians we can manage and be identified with SPAR as well in the sense that it can also have home grown entrepreneurs setting up and running their own businesses whilst supporting our own local based suppliers and producers of locally made products. That’s an avenue that people need look at”, he said.
Meanwhile, Chintala disclosed that Crossroads SPAR is the last remaining SPAR store in Lusaka but says that they will work tirelessly to make Crossroads SPAR a success and grow the SPAR brand with other entrepreneurs in the country, making it a force to be recon with within the Zambian market.
“We are the last one standing and we are not going to fail. Yes we have had challenges, but slowly but surely, we are building our own relationships with suppliers that were initially reluctant to deal with us due to historical issues.
And it’s up to us to provide good services and customer care to our community because it is a community and family store”, he said.