Spar News

SPAR Group's South African Joint Venture Wins Coveted Diamond Arrow Award for Service Excellence - Sept. 28, 2005

TARRYTOWN, N.Y., Sept. 28, 2005 -- SPAR Group, Inc. (Nasdaq:SGRP) today announced that its South African joint venture, SGRP Meridian Sales & Merchandising, has won the Professional Management Review Africa (PMR Africa) Diamond Arrow award for overall excellence.

"This prestigious award recognizes outstanding performance in all aspects of retail merchandising," said Robert G. Brown, SPAR Group's chairman and chief executive officer. "Our South African joint venture was established approximately one year ago in partnership with the Meridian Companies of South Africa, and we are particularly gratified to have received such industry recognition in such a short span of time."

Brown said PMR Africa evaluated all major national and regional retail merchandisers serving the Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) sector throughout the country, polling senior sales executives, merchandising directors and buyers at consumer packaged goods manufacturers, retailers and wholesalers across South Africa. Questions involved information technology, communications, service levels, promotions and product innovations.

Added Pat Franco, President of SPAR International, "This is an incredible honor for our entire company. It demonstrates that our focus on delivering higher results has been recognized both by manufacturers and retailers."

PMR Africa, headquartered in Johannesburg, conducts 30,000 top-decision-maker interviews per year with businesses, governments, professions, educational bodies and labor groups to determine organization ratings, strengths and weaknesses. The survey praised SGRP Meridian for "taking brands to consumers, influencing shopper behavior and ensuring that their clients' brands are `alive' and always available at the point of purchase."

SGRP Meridian, based in Durban North, Kwa Zulu Natal, South Africa, and headed by Managing Director Brian Mason, delivers specialized sales and merchandising services to manufacturers and retailers in multiple categories of the FMCG market, including grocery, mass merchandiser and wholesalers. In addition, SGRP Meridian's marketing intelligence division provides auditing, control studies and mystery shopping studies in all classes of trade.

"The award underscores the high caliber of work we have been providing to clients in this region," Mason said. "Moreover, it reflects our state-of-the-art systems and technology, the professionalism of our people and the value of the services we offer."

With joint venture partners in South Africa, China, India, Romania, Turkey and Japan, as well as operations in Canada and the United States, SPAR Group, Inc. is a diversified international marketing services company, providing a broad array of services to help companies improve their sales, operating efficiency and profits at retail worldwide. The company provides in-store merchandising, in-store event staffing, RFID and other technology, as well as research to manufacturers and retailers covering all product classifications and all classes of trade, including mass market, drug store, electronic store, convenience store and grocery chains, throughout the United States and internationally.

For more information, visit the company's Web site,