PARIS — Vivarte is reshuffling its top management.
The ailing French retail group has appointed Stéphane Maquaire as chief executive officer. Maquaire is replacing Richard Simonin, who has helmed the group since Oct. 2014, when the firm’s new owners ousted Marc Lelandais as chairman and chief executive officer after two years in office.
The 41-year old is to join the group in the second quarter of 2016, while Simonin is to stay on board as his advisor for an unspecified period of time, the company said on Friday.
“Significant steps forward [have] been made under Simonin’s leadership,” the firm’s owners acknowledged. “Simonin has successfully brought back stability into the business and put the sustainable turnaround of the group on a solid footing. This has involved the implementation of a deep operational restructuring plan and thorough repositioning of the offering at several of the group’s banners.”
“Improved results through the first months of the 2016 financial year, starting Sept. 1, 2015, are confirming the early success of these [actions],” they added.
Vivarte, which is owned by a group of lenders led by four funds — Oaktree, Alcentra, GoldenTree and Babson — reported sales of 2.4 billion euros, or $2.8 billion at average exchange rates, in its fiscal year 2015, an estimated drop of 11 percent versus the year-ago period.
The apparel and footwear specialist has been battling a morose economic climate with an all-out push to renovate and reinvigorate its key banners, including Caroll, Naf Naf, Kookaï, Chevignon, André Minelli and La Halle.
Maquaire, who joins the company from Monoprix, where he served as ceo since 2010, is to lead the group into “the next stage of recovery.”
“Under [his] leadership Monoprix has successfully revitalized the business, seeing impressive growth in both the topline and earnings, driving change in product, store concept, service and expansion into new formats, whilst also driving a new omnichannel strategy [making] Monoprix one of the leading social brands in France [today],” Vivarte noted, adding: “He has developed a strong reputation across the French retail market, based on his successful track record. The board looks forward to working with him.”