Multinational retail group SPAR Austria has revealed plans to combine its two sales units, starting from 1 January next year.

The company’s management board has decided to combine company-owned and independent retailer sales.

It is triggered by the retirement of the independent SPAR retailer’s sales head Alois Huber in March 2024.

The merged unit will be led by Gerhard Weinberger, who is currently responsible for the company-owned stores.

SPAR Austria also appointed Michael Pecher as the new head of independent retail sales while Romana Kaufmann will be responsible for coordinating all SPAR stores apart from her existing roles.

Initially planned for around one year, the reorganisation is intended to increase knowledge sharing by bringing together knowledge and expertise from both sales units.

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SPAR Austria deputy chairman Hans Reisch said: “There is a wealth of knowledge and experience in the currently separate sales units of company-owned stores and independent SPAR retailers.

“Therefore, we intend to make this know-how usable for all within the business in the best possible way. I emphasise that the focus is on benefitting all sectors. By setting this course, we are securing the success of both sales units.”

The SPAR Austria Group operates 3,026 SPAR, EUROSPAR and INTERSPAR stores, of which 1,506 are located in Austria and the remaining in northern Italy, Hungary, Slovenia and Croatia.

The group reported combined sales growth of 7.3% in 2022.

In May this year, SPAR Austria opened a new INTERSPAR Hypermarket in Gänserndorf, Lower Austria.