The Franchise Co. has appointed Marcel Strauss as its new chief operating officer (COO) for all the group’s brands.
“We are very happy to announce the appointment of Marcel as our group’s new Chief Operations Officer. Marcel has been with The Franchise Co. for the last four years where he started as an executive manager and worked his way up to his new role as COO. Marcel will help The Franchise Co. to grow its footprint but will do so strategically and responsibly,” says Chris van Zyl, CEO of The Franchise Co.
Strauss, who has 34 years of successful history in retail and franchising brand management, accepted his new role as The Franchise Co.’s chief operations officer on 1 November 2020. The skills gained in his years at various retailers to negotiate with suppliers, manage the financial aspects of the company, as well as marketing and human capital, have honed his ability to grow brands and ensure good returns for investors.
“I am honoured to have been selected as the new COO at The Franchise Co. The journey leading up to this appointment was not an easy one but we jointly put in blood, sweat and tears to reposition some of the brands, and while we still have a long way to go with some of the others, the route is lot clearer. It is refreshing and humbling that The Franchise Co. recongises hard work, dedication and a strategic approach to business. As part of my new role, I will be expanding on my existing portfolio where I will look after new business; management of the organisation’s sales; compliance; and accounting to produce value for all our stakeholders,” says Strauss.
Ensuring fires don’t break out
Before assuming his new role as chief operating officer at The Franchise Co., Strauss was the executive manager at The Franchise Co., a role he held for four years where he managed 22 ChesaNyama franchises; four Yami Pizza’s; seven Yummy Fish & Chips stores; 39 Zebro’s franchises; five Blacksteers’ stores; eight Yami restaurants including [email protected]; and 39 MK stores.
In addition to his food chain portfolio, Strauss will also be in charge of Eight to the Lounge; 7 Rings Pharmaceuticals; Medirent Group; SleepOver Motels; The Rings Consumables; Medical Franchise and Look Looking brands.
He cut his teeth in retail as the youngest sales and service department manager ever for Checkers. Strauss’ attention to detail in running a big retail store was so impressive that he was recruited by management to open two flagship stores in Brooklyn and Moreletta Park.
After moving to Botswana to run a retail store, Payless and opening two more stores for the same company, his expertise in retail was recognised when he was appointed General and Operations Director for Spar Botswana. Here he used his experience to grow and retain market share to +/- 42% of the measured market and opened and revamped Spar stores and Spar liquor stores focusing on increasing sales and reducing expenses.
As the general manager of Glomail, Strauss was instrumental in launching various new products and decreasing stock levels to reduce risk, building relationships with national buyers, and decreasing staffing cost. He was then appointed as the Financial Director where he reversed capital outlay from cash flow to long term debt for an R7.3 million cash injection, increased sales by 19% within nine months, and implemented systems to increase operating margins from 16.3% to 19.8%, resulting in a net increase of 3.5%.
Strauss’ strengths lie in his strategic management; human capital development; and eye for a good brand; and a sharp mind for numbers and accounts. He says having a sense of balance and awareness of the company’s overall strategy, makes the job that more attainable.
“This job is like being a firefighter. You are responsible for ensuring fires don’t break out, but when they do, you must put that fire out before it damages the building. But it’s something I thoroughly enjoy doing. Growing value for shareholders and increasing client experiences is what I thrive on,” says Strauss.
“The Franchise Co. is very fortunate to have someone like Marcel be part of the team and we know he will do well in his current role as COO as he has the track record to prove it. The Franchise Co.’s growth is reliant on selecting the right people into the right leadership roles,” concludes van Zyl.