The SPAR licence holder for north-eastern Italy, DESPAR Italia, has converted a historic former cinema theatre in Venice into a new store, restoring its Neo-Gothic and Art Nouveau features in a €2.5 million ($3.5 million) renovation.
DESPAR says the store, featuring high ceilings and original frescoes, has a low environmental footprint. The Directorate for Architectural Heritage of Venice supervised the renovation process.
The store occupies 580sqm and its range comprises 8,700 SKUs, most of which are food items. A SPAR spokesperson said the product range had been adapted to suit residents, while the food-to-go products catered for tourists and students. The store will soon launch a home-delivery service.
DESPAR Italia has previous experience of opening stores in historic buildings in the cities of Trento, Verona and Vicenza.
The SPAR International group of independently owned and operated retailers and wholesalers work in partnership under the SPAR brand. In Australia, SPAR is one of only two major suppliers to independent supermarket operators on the country’s eastern seaboard, the other being Metcash.