Your friendly neighbourhood shop

Rethinking brand identity for all Spar stores that are part of Colruyt Group

October 04, 2015

Spar Stores, part of Colruyt Group, has a new logo that reinforces the relationship between both retail names. It’s a combination of the two, giving a new image to the Spar stores while being supported visually by the familiarity of the Group.


Your local Spar is a friendly neighbourhood shop where you can go for your daily shopping. But it is also a food retailer with the largest number of stores in the world: nearly 16,000 stores in over 30 countries. In 2003, the Colruyt Group granted the Spar license in Belgium.

It was important for the link between the Spar brand and the Colruyt Group to be visible to the customer so they asked us to create one logo design that incorporated both. The result is an unmistakable connection between the two retail brands and the foundation of a fresh look for all Spar stores. 

The structure of the new design is based on a simple premise: a successful integration of the Colruyt and the Spar logos. The famous Spar logo and the typography remain unaffected. These are key elements of Colruyt Group, and its corporate style, and of the Spar branding, which we established in our research. It was essential to find a solution where the two styles worked together, indicating Spar is part of the Group, yet retaining its own identity.


The circular shape of the corporate logo is the foundation for further Spar branding, and it’s important that the first contact between its customers and the brand remains the same. The flexibility of the design is a major asset. The logo works not only for the Spar shops but also for urban sister brand Spar Compact. It can also easily be applied to the stores internally and externally. The signage is on the stores’ façades and the new logo appears on other items, such as till receipts, shopping carts and other Spar signs and communication. 


How to transform a neighbourhood supermarket into a Spar store? Together with Retail Partners Colruyt Group and the design team at Colruyt Group we designed a new store concept focused entirely on the identity and personality of Spar. The retailer positions itself as a feminine, soft brand and the ideal neighbourhood market. We translated this positioning into a design responding to the “find, read and feel principle”. This basically means that a customer can recognise and locate the store from afar. Customers can easily find their way around once on site. And above all, the customer feels at quite home at Spar. 


During a range of workshops we defined the design and building elements based on the various different store designs already in existence. At every step we checked the Spar brand book to ensure that the designs were completely on brand. “Is this Spar?”: this question defined every design decision. The first Spar supermarket in the new design has now already opened its doors. Spar Kessel was the first shop to be transformed in line with Spar’s new image and identity. It’s the first of many. A few Spar supermarkets will serve as test cases for the new designs. Once tested, the definitive rollout of the new Spar stores will be initiated. 


Completion of the new branding guidelines, together with all information on the logo, is available via Kadanza. This will allow Spar employees to understand how the new logo and the other visual identity cues are used in publications, signage and inside the shop.