From the start of this month, Greg Nieuwenhuys is the new chief executive of Bever, the leading Dutch outdoor retailer previously called Bever Zwerfsport, which is owned by the same investors as A.S. Adventure in Belgium and Cotswold Outdoor in the U.K.
Based on the initials of the three retail chains, the tie-up has been known informally as the ABC group, but The Compass will from now on respect the wish of the company’s managers to refrain from using this inelegant moniker and refer to the A.S. Adventure Group instead.
Nieuwenhuys joined the A.S. Adventure Group in 2009 as head of strategy and acquisitions, but in the last months he has been working as assistant chief executive at Bever. He is a long-time outdoor enthusiast, with interest in hiking, skiing, cycling and adventure sports. His most remarkable achievement in this respect is that he was the first Dutchman to ski down a peak of more than 8,000 meters, the Cho Oyu in Tibet.
The chief executive's job at Bever was previously in the hands of Eric Leemans, who already heads up A.S. Adventure in Belgium, although Frederic Hufkens, the chief executive of the entire A.S. Adventure Group, has been very directly involved in all the changes implemented at Bever in the last months.
They have included the change in its name; the launch of a new store formula in Nijmegen, which continues to outperform other stores; the relocation of its head office and warehouse; the switch to a new ERP system, which went live last month; and the recruitment of executives in charge of buying and marketing. The team is to be reinforced further in the coming weeks with a sales manager and a warehouse manager.
After the change in the Netherlands, Leemans will focus on the development of the A.S. Adventure chain in Belgium, which generates the largest part of the group’s sales. At the same time, he will still be in charge of finding new locations for Bever and he will supervise the launch of an online store for the Dutch retailer, which is planned for the second half of the year.