Change at the top of Blokker owner Mirage Retail Group

Michiel Witteveen, top executive and majority shareholder of Mirage Retail Group, is stepping aside. The new CEO Dirk-Jan Stoppelenburg will prepare the retail group for an IPO next year.


Expiry date

In practice, Witteveen and Stoppelenburg are swapping roles: as of 1 February, the CEO and owner will become chairman of the Supervisory Board and thus remain actively involved with the company. He will hand over day-to-day management to Stoppelenburg, who is currently still chairman of the Supervisory Board and who was previously top executive at Scotch & Soda. Mirage Retail Group (MRG) states this in a press release.

The switch is intended to prepare the company for a stock exchange listing, which is scheduled for 2022. Since the acquisition by Witteveen, MRG has changed from an unwieldy retail holding company into an agile organisation with a start-up mentality. Now it is time for the next step. Another factor is Witteveen's age: the top executive is now 67. "It is better to have a director with a shelf life that is somewhat further away than mine," he told NRC. His successor is 54.


Still no profit

More than two years after the acquisition, Blokker and the other chains of the retail group have moved into calmer waters, thinks Witteveen. Nevertheless, it will be difficult to make a profit this year: in the first months of the year, the stores in the Netherlands were forced to close as a result of the corona measures.

Mirage Retail Group is the holding company behind the Blokker, BCC, Intertoys, Big Bazar and Miniso retail chains. This year, the retailer expects to generate sales of 1.1 billion euros, with 847 stores and 9,500 employees.