£65151 was raised and shared between Marie Curie and It Belongs To Me. LtoR Ian Taylor SPAR UK, Lily Whitlam Marie Curie and Chair of the National Guild of SPAR Dominic Hall

The vibrant setting of Sun City in South Africa played host to the SPAR UK 2024 Conference, where 480 independent SPAR retailers and families, national account customers, company owned store colleagues, suppliers, RDC and central office leaders attended the highly anticipated business event.

The event, held at The Palace of the Lost City, Sun City, from 12-16 March brought together a record number of UK professionals from across SPAR and the convenience sector for a winning exchange of ideas, insights, collaborations and charity-giving.

Under the theme of “Winning in Convenience” the SPAR UK conference served as a vehicle for innovation and strategic networking, offering attendees a unique opportunity to see how SPAR is winning in convenience. explore emerging trends, share best practices, and forge meaningful connections.

From thought-provoking keynote sessions specifically tailored for independent retailers and suppliers, to inspirational speeches, participants were engaged in a mix of knowledge and expertise.

“We are thrilled to have hosted such an exceptional business conference in Sun City,” said Dominic Hall, Chair of the National Guild of SPAR. “The energy and enthusiasm presented by all our attendees on driving the SPAR business forward emphasised the importance of having such an event. Together, we explored how SPAR is winning in convenience and the opportunities available for future growth and success.

“Throughout the conference, attendees learned about a number of topics spanning technology, foodservice, marketing, digital, brand ownership, supplier partnerships and beyond. We had speakers share their insights and experiences, showing our audience how to navigate their way through the ever-changing convenience landscape with confidence and energy.”

The 2024 SPAR UK Conference provided a platform for showcasing innovative selling techniques by motivational speaker Nicky Pattinson, foodservice and omnichannel best practice from SPAR South Africa, SPAR global developments, insight from IGD’s Graham McLean, as well as a thought-provoking and inspirational Q&A session with Khumo Phalatse, Founder of It Belongs To Me, a non-profit organisation located near Sun City supporting school girls and vulnerable young women and men.

Attendees had the opportunity to connect, discover new opportunities for partnership, and gain valuable insights into SPAR. The event culminated in a charity fundraising gala dinner where £65,181 was raised and shared between SPAR’s national charity partner Marie Curie and It Belongs To Me.

“Nurturing our neighbourhoods is hugely important to everyone within the SPAR family and we want to thank all our guests for bringing thousands of books, toys, treats and health and beauty items to donate to It Belongs To Me. It was overwhelming to see the response to our charity drive and even better to see how much everyone supported our charity partners at the gala dinner,” added Dominic Hall.

In addition to the business activities and charity-giving, the biennial SPAR Guild Challenge took place. A fiercely competitive contest between all five SPAR UK regional Guilds, with the Scottish Guild crowned as winners and taking the Mark Gillett Award for Endeavour.

The SPAR UK Conference takes place every two years where SPAR retailers and their families, SPAR store colleagues, national account customers, suppliers, RDC and central office leaders meet to foster new partnerships and business investment.

Held in different cities around the world, the 2026 SPAR UK Conference will take place in Vancouver between 24-28 March 2026.