Spar Group, a supplier of retail merchandising, business technology and marketing services, said today that Christiaan M. Olivier will serve as its new president, chief executive officer and as a member of its board of directors, effective September 5. Olivier will manage the company’s global strategy and operations.
In his career that spans 25 years as a retail executive, Olivier has successfully led large global organizations in business development, sales and marketing, strategy, operations and mergers and acquisitions. Prior to his role at the Spar Group, Olivier served as president of retail activation at Diversified Agency Services for the Omnicom Group, a $15 billion global marketing services firm. He also served as president of Advantage Sales and Marketing and was the chief executive officer of the Smollan Group, a sales and marketing agency.
Founded 50 years ago, Spar Group’s beginnings are rooted in retail technology and the gathering of in-store data. The firm said it is the first to offer sales data analyses for calculating trade promotion profitability; the testing of RFID merchandising solutions to retailers; introduce wireless technologies, and integrate the Internet to the merchandising industry.
Spar Group offers services to companies in the retail sector that help improve sales operating efficiencies, profits and provides marketing and merchandising services to retailers, distributors and manufacturers located worldwide. Its clients include P&G, Staples, CVS, Nestle, Toys R’ Us, Kmart, Mattel and Samsonite.
Olivier said Spar Group has “a well-earned reputation of delivering exceptional service and is well-positioned to meet the demands of retailers and consumer packaged goods companies in an ever-changing multichannel retail environment. I am enthusiastic about the opportunities to build upon the current infrastructure to profitably grow the business and shareholder value.”
Robert Brown, the chairman of the board of directors for the Spar Group, said that “After an extensive search, we’ve selected a leader with a proven track record of success in multiple areas including international business, sales, marketing, operations, technology and mergers and acquisitions. Chris has extensive experience in leading large and complex global organizations, and is a very prominent, and accomplished senior executive, with extensive experience and relationships in the global retail services and solutions industry. He continued, “We are confident in his ability to lead Spar’s global mission of being a solutions provider dedicated to helping clients get more out of the store.”
Spar Group’s chief operating officer, Kori Belzer, who served as interim chief executive officer since the company’s previous chief executive officer, Scott Popaditch, left the firm in May, said that “Chris will be a very effective chief executive officer, as well as a great culture fit for Spar. Chris brings deep retail merchandising experience and strong leadership qualities. I look forward to working with him.”
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