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SPAR Debuts a Mini Market for the Modern Age

Trend Spotlight from RI 2021: How Leaders are Surviving and Thriving by Leading with Extreme Convenience

For almost two decades, we have been tracking cutting edge concepts from around the world through our annual Retail Innovations publication. RI2021 includes 50 global cases categorized by four megatrends: omni-integration, extreme convenience, extreme experience, and sustainable practices.

The second trend featured in Retail Innovations 2021 is Extreme Convenience. Now more than ever, customers demand a fricitonless shopping experience, and advancements in technology make the delivery of one possible. The spread of COVID-19 has accelerated this trend in the form of contactless offerings, and economic headwinds continue to put downward pressure on a consumer’s time.

The last case we highlighted from this section was BOX by Posti, a one-stop-shop that bridges the gap between online and offline shopping for customers in Finland (check it out here). This week we are spotlighting SPAR, a supermarket chain established in the Netherlands, focused on delivering convenience to 48 countries around the globe.

SPAR Launches Mini Market

In 2020, SPAR debuted a new concept in the Netherlands, the SPAR Mini Market.  Measuring only 16 m² (approximately 173 ft²), it can be transported to almost any location – including floating on the water, a nice touch for the many Dutch consumers living on houseboats. While the small size maximizes in and out convenience and optimizes locational proximity to the customer, it also dictates a precise product assortment. For this reason, the products change six times per day, based on the real-time habits of local consumers. Not only does the rotating assortment resonate more strongly with consumer needs, but it also encourages repeat visits throughout the day from the same customers, maximizing the opportunities to increase customer lifetime value and to drive loyalty. Currently, the Mini Markets accommodate one shopper (plus one employee) inside at a time, and contactless payment options are available through self-checkout.

Why We are Inspired. SPAR’s new concept is a mini mart with a micro location and assortment strategy optimized for the modern age. Not only does the one-person-at-a-time model make social distancing a breeze, but the highly transportable nature of the design means these outputs can be placed almost anywhere, an added bonus for the Dutch who prefer to access their convenience stores by boat.

Stay tuned as we continue highlighting examples from each of our four key trend areas. Follow along with us on our blog and our Instagram feed and stories.

For more inspiring case studies, make sure to download Your Copy of Retail Innovations 2021 here.


Alyson Fischer

Alyson Fischer is an engagement manager and cross-functional leader with 10+ years of experience helping Global 100 clients tell data-driven stories to elevate the customer experience and inspire dynamic engagement across channels.

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