STW’s Smollan Group has expanded its retail marketing footprint to North America, announcing a new international partnership with US-based Advantage Sales & Marketing LLC (Advantage).
The move makes Smollan Group (Smollan) the first and only truly global provider of innovative outsourced sales and marketing solutions for consumer goods companies and retailers.
Smollan’s new partner Advantage is North America’s leading provider of sales and marketing solutions, with a dynamic team of over 40,000 associates providing consumer goods suppliers and retailers with innovative headquarter sales, business intelligence, retail merchandising, marketing and technology solutions. Smollan is the leading provider of sales and marketing solutions in developing and emerging markets operating across five continents – including Australia – with 60,000 employees and associates. Together they now form the world’s leading retail solutions company.
Under the terms of the international partnership, Advantage will make an investment in Smollan, and the two companies will cooperate to provide seamless global services. Smollan will take primary responsibility for execution within Australia, Africa, the Middle East, South America, and East and South Asia, and Advantage will take primary responsibility for execution within North America. The two companies will also offer a unified solution across Europe through a newly formed joint venture.
Smollan Australia CEO David Pollock said the deal was an exciting move for the organization, which has been rapidly expanding during the past six years across all markets, and particularly Australia.
“Expanding our footprint to the USA and Europe further cements our position as the leading provider of retail marketing solutions in Australia,” he said. “We can now offer our clients truly global solutions where required, plus the advantage of worlds-best practice and tools tried and tested in the globe’s busiest retail environments.”
The partnership gives Advantage and Smollan the opportunity to leverage best practices, capabilities, and technologies to offer highly effective and consistent international representation to clients, many of whom themselves have a global presence.
“We have developed immense respect for the Smollan organization as we have interacted with them over the past few years to drive and challenge each other on best practices and technology enablers” said Tanya Domier, Advantage Chief Executive Officer. “We are now excited to call them partners and deploy these practices and analytical and reporting platforms across our complementary markets to offer clients seamless visibility and score-carding, as well as a consultative, single point of contact with a global view of the business – essentially an efficient, one-stop shop for clients and customers worldwide.”
Smollan and Advantage have a longstanding association, drawn together as like-minded, people-focused companies, with similar histories of service innovation. “It was clear early on that we shared not only global aspirations, but a passion for continually enhancing our services” said Smollan global CEO David Smollan, who will join the Advantage leadership team as a partner advisor. “For example, the marketing division Advantage launched to help clients connect with shoppers and drive sales has become the number one experiential and promotional marketing agency in the U.S. Similarly, Smollan leads the industry with advanced technology and mobility platforms that provide clients with actionable insights to the trade.”
Both companies also have proven expertise in consolidating companies serving fragmented markets into a cohesive whole that continues to understand and cater to local market differences. Advantage rolled up 18 regional retail sales agencies to establish a North American footprint in the 1990s and, more recently, over 15 regional foodservice agencies to form the largest national division of its kind. Smollan has a longstanding international vision and history of expanding its model across borders into complex high growth markets such as India, China, Pakistan, the Middle East, and Southeast Asia.
Mr. Smollan continued: “To fulfill our promise as a best-in-class business services company across Europe and on a global scale, we need the absolute best in terms of people and resources. As we look to complete our geographic footprint in Europe and beyond, we are targeting companies who are number one in their markets and who share our entrepreneurial culture and passion for adding value as they will have an ownership stake in the business and accountability for our growth together.”
About Smollan Group
Smollan was founded in 1931 as a Regional South African based sales agency. Today, Smollan is an international retail solutions company that delivers growth for retailers and brand owners across five continents through leading solutions in field sales and retail execution, activation, information and technology. With extensive industry experience, an exceptional human platform of over 60,000 employees and sophisticated systems, Smollan has provided consistent service excellence to retailers and manufacturers for three generations. We see ourselves as the pivot point where the retailer, brand owner and shopper intercept.
In Australia, Smollan is part of STW, Australasia’s leading marketing content and communications group.
For additional information, visit http://www.smollanaustralia.com.au/
About Advantage Sales & Marketing LLC
Founded in 1987, Advantage Sales & Marketing LLC (Advantage) is a premier sales and marketing solutions company committed to building brand value for our clients and customers. Advantage’s customized sales and marketing solutions include headquarter sales, retail merchandising, and marketing services such as shopper, experiential, digital/social, and multicultural marketing, for the grocery, drugstore, club, convenience, natural/specialty, consumer electronics, home center, and foodservice industries.
Headquartered in Irvine, Calif., Advantage has more than 40,000 associates and offices throughout the United States and Canada. For additional information, visit www.asmnet.com