Spar opens supermarket in Malawi capital city

Malawi’s Vice President Dr Saulos Klaus Chilima recently officially opened the Spar City shop which will be run by Peoples Trading Centre (PTC), a subsidiary of conglomerate Press Corporation Limited (PCL) which has just acquired the Spar franchise.

Chikaonda and Chilima at the launch of SPAR

Chikaonda and Chilima at the launch of SPAR

Chilima performing the official opening of SPAR

Chilima performing the official opening of SPAR

Chiku Kaphuka, the markerting Manager for PTC who was directing the ceremony

Chiku Kaphuka, the markerting Manager for PTC who was directing the ceremony

Chilima being showed Spar city shop

Chilima being showed Spar city shop

PCL Group Chief Executive Dr Matthews Chikaonda (right) at the Spar

PCL Group Chief Executive Dr Matthews Chikaonda (right) at the Spar

Spar operates in 43 countries and has more than 12,300 shops across the 43 countries.

Chilima congratulated PCL for landing the franchise through PTC and challenged the company to strive to sustain high international standards associated with Spar shops internationally.

PCL Group Chief Executive for PCL Dr Matthews Chikaonda said the Spar franchise will help Peoples and help it to continue developing and leading the retail industry in Malawi.

Spar Malawi plans to open up to 10 more supermarkets and Express convenience stores in the country within the next five years.

According to Spar, the launch of the supermarket in the new Lilongwe Shopping Mall in the capital, Lilongwe, reflects the intention to expand into new territories on the African continent, as outlined in its expansion strategy.

The 1,690sq m store comprises several food departments including bakery, butchery, meat and delicatessen and has created 140 new jobs.

Locally sourced, fresh produce will be available to consumers in the store, as will a range of Spar private label products, sourced via a purchasing agreement with Spar Zimbabwe and South Africa.

Spar said the Malawi store has demonstrated its commitment to environmental sustainability with a modern, multiplex refrigeration system, which has been installed to drive down energy consumption by eliminating the need for geysers. Energy saving lamps have been also been fitted in all the offices.

In-store promotional and advertising material has been developed, introducing the slogan ‘Live Life Better’. Throughout the store, communication materials reflect the bold slogan matched with exciting imagery, said Spar.

Gordon Campbell, Spar International managing director, said: “Spar International continues to look for partners in other countries to bring the Spar format to millions more consumers. We have been working gradually to expand our footprint in the African continent.

“Spar Malawi has access to our best practice knowledge in international retailing, technical expertise and 75 years of international experience in 34 countries across four continents,” said Campbell.

“Malawi has a relatively undeveloped retail infrastructure, but it is expanding, and the production of fresh foods in the capital city enables retailers to offer good quality products at value prices.”

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28 thoughts on “Spar opens supermarket in Malawi capital city”

  1. Mngwira says:

    A very useful addition to City Centre with good stock and fair prices!

  2. Daniel Phiri says:

    This is nothing to celebrate about. PTC acquiring a franchise, means killing the PTC brand instead of building it and opening shops across the region. It’s a shame that the whole VP is gracing this sad occasion. How will Spar help generate forex? This south African shops import 95% of their stocks, which is a drain on forex. In addition, PTC will have to pay franchise fees, every year just for using the name Spar. This will be paid in Rands, further draining our hard earned forex. Another forecast draining business is Be Forward. It has pushed small Malawian vehicle importers out of business. And it’s a drain on forex. If this is the type of investment Malawi is promoting then we have a long way to go. Mr. Chilima, please promote investment in manufacturing…companies that can make cooking oil and soaps from our groundnuts and sunflower; bicycle tires and rubber shoes, even condoms, from our rubber; high end wooden ceilings, flooring and kitchen cabinets from our mitengo etc. That’s what will create sustainable jobs, generate forex and make our Kwacha strong once again.

    1. chris says:

      Apa ndie mwatsindika, akusowa oganiza choncho. Ambuye akudalitseni.

  3. Thom Chiumia says:

    I wish you had known who owned the first Spar Shop that was in Lilongwe and how it was being managed and the reasons it was closed. The owner was extravagant that he was failing to pay suppliers. It was owned by a foreigner for your information.

  4. Bry says:

    Mpakana the whole Vice President kukatsegulira shop?!?..?!
    Amalawi….bwanji kodi? Wake up.!!

  5. Ngumbi Potuluka says:

    Spar was in Lilongwe and the closed shop. Did someone examined why they left before this partnership?
    PTC has been in business for a long time. Instead of progressing the shops are going down. Why did PCL not just refinance PTC so that they do rebranding and open a better shop. Shame us because those in the key positions are only interested in their gains

  6. Truck says:


  7. Matembandi ndiwo says:

    Ma elitists adzikagula ku spar ko. Ife tidzidya local. The man who grows our food doesn’t have to be in Durban. Anthu odziwa ananena kuti the man who grows his own food is like the man who prints his own currency. So idyani za ma carton ndi ma frigde ife tidzidya matemba. Welcome to Globalization .

  8. Matembandi ndiwo says:

    Ayi. Izi ndi chitukuko cha ma Elitists A Ku Malawi. Just like shorite and all the global supermarkets. Anthu wamba akagulamo bread just because. AWONEMO. This is globalization at its early stages. All intelligent people should know that the man who grows his own food is like one who can print his own money JUST BECAUSE YOU CONTROL WHAT YOU EAT. Koma ayi Amalawi kukonda ma foreigners. ATI ZA KU MALAWI ZA LOW QUALITY. Local farmers might not produce the so called quality tomatoes but the most natural food is the one sold at a farmers market because it is most fresh osati some refrigirated preserved gassed fruits all the way from Durban olo Capetown. ife tidzidyabe zolima alimi kumsika wa blantyre, and eat chicken sold by a local vendor inu ma bwana dzidyani dza ma carton all IF IT MAKES YOU THINK NDI CHITUKUKO. . WELCOME TO THE END. NGATI TIKU LEPHERA KULIMA AND DEVELOP ULIMI HOW NDIYE PALIBE CHABWINO. ADZIDZA KOLOLA TI MA KWACHA TO MWE TATSALA SMILING ALL THE WAY KU BANK. ZOVUTA.

  9. Dwambazi says:

    The Kwacha is on a downward spiral , it’s depreciating at an alarming rate who is going to afford imported groceries other than all those devils who stole my taxes…… as usual!

  10. Chikatere says:

    No 8 ( Jon) you are right. i have never seen rude staff like at Mzuzu Metro more and some have been they for years not being transferred more especially the ladies.

  11. Townrat says:

    And in 2018 the dpp wll say we brought spar ku malawi, jst like wat muluzi says he brought shoprite ……I don’t understand when people rate Muluzi high, before muluzi malawi was a producing nation we talk of B&C, PEW, David whitehead, Liverbrothers, MDC, etc but now 90% of things are imported how do u expect a country to prosper!

  12. Zagwa says:

    Economists! Now we will be buying potatoes from Jozi in Lilongwe while we have plenty in Dedza, and hope we will develop

  13. Jon says:

    I must say that I see an abandonment strategy where PCL is moving away from the Peoples (ptc) brand and trying to woo Malawians using a foreign name. One reason for this is simple and true – Malawians like to associate with foreign brands. But this is not the entire fault of Malawians only. The seller of the product and service and the experience does not bother to stay and keep up with the Joneses in terms of quality and experience. There is this (sic) notion that a Malawian product HAS to be patronized by the Malawian irrespective of needs and wants. The Malawian consumer has always been sophisticated, and why not acknowledge this attribute?

    The Malawian consumer today has choice. The Malawian today is fairly exposed and wants assurance for quality and hygiene. The Malawian consumer would like good customer service. The Malawian consumer would like value for money. As long as the provider of these services lags behind in provision of service and addition of value for product and service differentiation, the have already lost the capitalist race.

    Gone are the days when the consumer in Malawi was seeking only a functional product. Today, they are looking to have an all round positive experience on what they get for their money.

    Don’t you wonder that is the very same Malawian workforce that deliver the same “till” service in other chains and shops. But what is the difference? Its all in the shopping environment……the hygiene, the merchandising………the attention to detail……….the smiley and helpful shop assistant……..the length of the queue………..

    So Peoples (ptc) can rebrand and repaint and buy all the right franchises in this world. But a name alone will not guarantee a successful undertaking. Change those attitudes with your staff, innovate more and evolve with the times. Be a living and breathing brand that talks and addresses the simplest wishes of customer….do this…….and the worlds shall be yours!

  14. mtumbuka says:

    Nzeru za mulakho at its best. Thats we are not the same

  15. ... says:

    Wrong timing target Spurs.
    Malawians are very very extremely poor now than evet ever before, Thanx to that man and his incompetent president.
    We don’t have money to buy your expensive goods. Go ask Shoprite and Game how the clientele reduced in their respective shop.
    Sorry ooo.

  16. Gontha Nkutu says:

    Thats why we Malawians will not develope, the whole vic president and a so called economist wasting time opening a GULOSALE / shop? Why can PLC not invest in power generation even wind or solar generating just 10 megabites and ask the Vic preseding to open it? You two guys have useless PhDs, you are just not original. PLC used to bring forext during Kamuzu time through farming tobacco now its at forerong wasting forex (under the gaze of ambwampini )through importation of checken and eggs and tomatoes etc from South Africa. What a sad lot, Malawi!

  17. clement says:

    Spar here in south Africa is doing well and they never run out of stocks. So to Malawi its good move but they could have just open their shops not buying franchise from ptc completely cooperation Limited, try to consult other stake holders no matter what you are prof heading it.

  18. mfana okonda ma plain says:

    too bad you’re coming when cashgate is already over. pano tikugula zakudya ku nsika wa ntandile

  19. Mulukhu says:

    When r we going to wash our face Malawians eee? Alemele ndi obwela basi. Am here in SOUTH AFRICA now and this shop’s services r not good to compare with shops owned by Malawians.MULUKHU MC MACLN

  20. Jon says:

    Peoples (ptc) chain needs to do some self discovery before they think they can compete in the retail market. Changing a name or acquiring a franchise is just addressing the surface of their inefficiencies. Their customer service is poor. Their shop assistants are indifferent and rude. Their displays are outdated and the shop lighting is ancient. Some of the shops are dirty and not maintained. This makes the overall shopping experience negative.

    If I had a choice, I would choose a better shopping experience, and at the end of a hard working day, I don’t aspire to buy stuff in a shop that has rude staff and poor merchandising. As much as I want to support local businesses, but a quality shopping experience counts for my hard earned money. Peoples need to be more innovative if they want to meaningfully compete with the other chains. A change in name or colour won’t sustain their presence in the market. There need be a change in their organizational culture.

    I rest my case.

  21. Matako says:

    Myopic leaders praise mediocrity. There is no need for our country to venture into foreign owned shops. Usually when this happens the foreign owned shops will push for imported products to meet international standards . In turn this practice will require more forex for imported products. Ask Nigerians they will tell you about their experiences with foreign owned grocery stores. We need to promote local internal investment in facilities like thee. We have enough products to sustain our economy without having to relay on imported products. How can you inspire our farmers to grow more if our leaders colonial mentality dictates foreign i best?Cry my beloved country!!

  22. Ameneyo says:

    I can guarantee that prices in Spar will be higher than PTC. I can’t see any benefits whatsoever for Malawi as far as allowing Spar to trade in Malawi is concerned. Sometimes I do not understand what a chair a PCL amaganiza. Really puzzled. Anatseka PG Industries, a monopoly company in glass manufacturing when everyone knows that if there is any industrial that is thriving in Malawi, then it is the construction industry.

  23. Mbwindix says:

    Makosana awiri ali mmusiwo wina wakhanyula miyendo pamene winayo wangogwila mapwala kubisa shaft yomwe iyenera kuti inali ready ready for action ndi mkazi wa chilima or ka kaphukako.

  24. The New Spar says:

    Not the first time Spar has opened in Malawi. Not so long ago they closed shop, owed rent, and suppliers. They sold items at exorbitant prices just like they do in their home country SA. Hardly had stock, workers were mistreated. All management were either white or Zimbabwean. What new do you print into the country. The vice president has nothing to do, opening a damn spaza shop like spar. Only in Malawi, the poorest country in the world.

  25. 666 says:

    What benefit is this shop bringing to the country other than worsening the already imbalanced trade between us and South Africa. The shop has nothing to do with boosting local production. Over 95 percent of the products are imported from South Africa so what is it that we are celebrating here? Pathetic country!

  26. Mr Ibu says:

    fighting shoprite is a tall order for PTC unless they invest in technology, otherwise customers perception will remain the same.

  27. James Kauma says:

    Sad part is that it isnot Malawiana owned.

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