R290-based self-contained refrigeration equipment is producing good results for SPAR China stores and is considered among the top choices for equipment procurement, according to Junbo Chen, Marketing and Communication Director for SPAR China, a division of Dutch retail giant SPAR.

“R290-based equipment is quite commonly used among our members, already with very good results,” said Chen during ChinaShop 2019, held in Qingdao, China, November 7-9.

These include SPAR Beijing Huaguang Group’s experience using R290 island freezer chests and SPAR Sichuan Dehui, which recently installed several R290 island freezer chests at its new store in Chengdu this past summer. 

“It will surely be considered among the first choices for the SPAR China supply-chain refrigeration- equipment joint purchasing,” said Chen.

The R290 cabinets are supplied by AHT Cooling Systems (Changshu), a division of Austrian multinational refrigeration system manufacturer AHT.

Chen added that SPAR China is “seeing a growing need for R290-based equipment, as it has a more stable market price compared with HFC and HCFC systems,” although ensuring thorough and appropriate maintenance, remains a concern.

SPAR China’s supply-chain company

In 2018, SPAR China launched a new “supply chain” business where it aims to help its Chinese members reduce expansion costs and optimize asset management “via joint negotiation and purchasing” of store equipment such as refrigeration systems, explained Chen.

SPAR’s members are independently owned and operated retailers that band together under the SPAR banner to have access to SPAR’s branding licenses, operational knowledge and expertise, as well as joint supply chain logistics.

“For example,” said Chen, “for refrigeration equipment SPAR China selects and negotiates with suppliers for our members not only based on the short-term contract terms like prices, but whether the suppliers’ products can help achieve better [operational] cost-savings and can be more sustainable and environmentally friendly.”

Equipment procurement, Chen said, is a key part of SPAR Corporate’s “Responsible Retailing” initiative. The climate is one of the six key focuses, “which aims at reducing CO2emissions and energy consumption during retail operations.”

SPAR China began operating in 2004 and now counts close to 400 stores among its eight Chinese retail partners in Shandong, Guangdong, Beijing, Sichuan, Henan, Hebei, and Yunnan. In 2018, SPAR China boasted a total annual sales revenue of CN¥12 billion (US$1.7 billion).

“R290-based equipment is quite commonly used among our members, already with very good results.”

Junbo Chen, SPAR China

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