Spanos area of interest providing for customers

The Spano Retail Group stands out from its competitors with its range and offerings. CEO Frank Spano, who is also IGA Queensland & Northern NSW Retail Chairman, spoke to Retail World in an exclusive interview about the challenges of the market, changing trends and responding to customer needs.

Frank Spano, CEO of the Spano Retail Group.

Anything new that Spano's Retail Group has brought to the store?

This year we have focused on improving our price perception. We have implemented many pricing strategies to be more competitive in the market.

We consulted our data insights and our team's ability to work with vendors to understand how we can improve our prices for our consumers and give them more confidence to buy from us as their first choice for groceries and fresh foods.

In our converted stores, we have expanded our range of fresh food to include concepts such as popcorn, fresh peanut butter, juices and the like. In 2022 we will open our first pizza pasta bar in one of our shops and our first in-house herb farm, where we grow our own herbs in the shop. This will be available in our vegetable section, where the herbs are actually grown in the store. We cut and pack them in-store to give customers a fresh range of herbs. It's also environmentally sustainable as there is no tyranny of distance, no delivery logistics and everything comes in recyclable packaging. It tries to get this whole paddock to plate scenario working with a very unique proposition.

We got the idea and the concept from Eataly in Boston, USA [an Italian market place with a number of cafes, counters, restaurants and a cooking school].

How is the independent sector doing in the Queensland-North NSW region?

The Queensland Independents' performance has been very strong since the pandemic began. During this time we were able to increase sales and the number of customers. What we can see is that many customers do not come back because the local customers do not want to drive too far to their supermarket, but want to support them on site.

Additionally, we were able to attract new customers thanks to some tactics we used to get customers into our stores. It was a strong result for independents, which is great because it meant people kept their jobs and we got to invest in our businesses again. So the state has managed to build many amazing new stores and world class refits.

Read the full interview in the current issue of Retail World.

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