Blog: Dean BestSpar International confirms end to Landmark India venture

Dean Best | 11 May 2012

Global symbol retailer Spar International has confirmed its franchise venture in India with Dubai-based Landmark Group will finish at the end of the year.

Spar's announcement came three months after Landmark told just-food the venture would be over this year.

At the time of our report in February, Spar was not prepared to comment but there were already indications that the agreement would soon be over when, a month earlier, the retailer's MD, Dr Gordon Campbell, told just-food it was in talks with other retailers to open more outlets in India.

In February, reports in India suggested Landmark was unhappy at Spar's decision to talk to other retailers but the company would not be drawn on the issue when it spoke to us. Instead, Landmark said its deal with Spar had been "very fruitful and beneficial" and yesterday Spar echoed its soon-to-be former partner's warm language.

Spar spoke of a "very successful business relationship" and said the 13 hypermarkets opened by the venture were trading "very well".

Nevertheless, both sides are in talks with other retailers over possible new ventures, so, for whatever reason, either Spar or Landmark must have felt their partnership had run its course.

India remains an attractive market for multinational retailers and Campbell told just-food in January there are "great growth opportunities" in the country. We should expect another announcement from Spar in the coming months.

As for Landmark? There was speculation earlier this year it was in talks with French retailer Auchan over a possible venture in India. Both sides refused to comment at the time but Landmark has said it has "aggressive growth plans" for India.


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