November 30th 2015

Taking an idea to success.

Hans K. Reisch, Executive Board Member at SPAR Österreichische Warenhandels-AG

The Entrepreneurial School® welcomed Hans K. Reisch, Executive Board Member at SPAR Österreichische Warenhandels-AG, as guest lecturer in the MCI Alumni & Friends series. Reisch was born in Kufstein, Tyrol, as the grand-son of Hans F. Reisch, who founded the first SPAR association of Austria in 1954. In his lecture he thus recounted the story of a small grocery store as it developed into a Central European business group. Hans K. Reisch moreover outlined the strategies which have led to the consistent expansion of the family-run business, which is still exclusively Austrian-owned. The original grocery store, from which SPAR has evolved into a company with an annual turnover of some 13 billion euros, is still to be found in Kufstein’s historic city center.

With its focus on regional products and 3500 store brands, ranging from the discount brand “S-Budget” to the premium brand “Spar-Premium”, the company was listed as the growth leader in the Austrian food retail sector for the fifth time in 2014. Hans K. Reisch draws attention to the innovative ideas through which the SPAR corporation strives to revolutionize business. Among other things, Electronic Shelf Labels (ESL), which are already in use at the Vienna University of Economics and Business campus, will contribute to the achievement of this goal. SPAR’s subsidiary Hervis, too, emphasizes innovation. Through the organization of pop-up ski rentals, for instance, the company breaks new ground in the sporting goods business and consequently succeeds to stand out.

MCI Rector Andreas Altmann moderates a lively discussion as the climax of Reisch’s lecture.