O’key Group Appointments Milina Sevcikova Mikulova Private Label Commercial Director


okeyO’KEY Group S.A., one of the largest food retailers in Russia, announces the appointment of Milina Sevcikova Mikulova as Private Label Commercial Director reporting directly to the Company’s CEO Heigo Kera.

The new Commercial Director will be developing and implementing the Group’s private label strategy for supermarkets and hypermarkets. In her role, Milina will manage assortment, production, supply, pricing, positioning, promotion of the O’KEY private labels and control marginality of this business.

Her top priority is to improve quality of the O’KEY private label products by auditing production facilities and testing samples in independent accredited laboratories.

The Company started the private label relaunch project last year covering mainly the food categories. The first step was to launch the That’s What You Need! brand (November 2015) in the low price tier followed by an O’KEY line-up in the middle price segment (April 2016). Currently there are 1,000+ SKUs under both brands.

Mr. Heigo Kera, the Chairman of the Board and the Group CEO, commented: “Last year we gave a new life to our private label business, which is one of the key elements of our Commercial Policy aimed at growing our margin in this segment and maintaining traffic by offering the best value for money proposition to our customers.

Our plan is to increase the share of private labels to 10% of the total sales in the coming year, including non-food categories. Given the importance of this business and our ambitions, we decided to have this block reporting to a separate Commercial Director.

Milina and her team will work closely with the DA! discounters to enable synergies in design, ordering and promotion of certain products.”

Milina Sevcikova Mikulova has a proven commercial, marketing and project management track record in Russia, Eastern Europe and Africa. Born in Czechoslovakia, she started her career at Carrefour in 1998 when she was involved in the opening of the retailer’s first hypermarket in Eastern Europe. From 2000 to 2004, she worked at AHOLD, the largest retail chain in the Czech Republic, making her way from Buying Manager to Commercial Director for the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Poland. Later she joined Metro Group to support the expansion of the Real chain in Romania as Commercial Director for Food. From 2005 to 2009, Milina served as Commercial Director & Management Board Member at Lenta. In recent years, she held various executive positions at Metrika (DIY), Yoo! Mart Ltd (Ghana, Africa) and 585 Gold.

Milina graduated from the University of Economics in Prague (International Relations) and holds a degree from the Commerce & Management School (l’ECG) in Orleans (France).

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Christopher Durham
Christopher Durham is the president of My Private Brand and the co-founder of The Vertex Awards. He is a strategist, author, consultant and retailer who built brands at Delhaize-owned Food Lion, and lead strategy and brand development for Lowe’s Home Improvement. He has consulted with retailers around the world on their private brand portfolios including: Family Dollar, Petco, Staples, Office Depot, Best Buy, Metro (Canada), TLW (Taiwan) and Hola (Taiwan). Durham has published five definitive books on private brands, including his first book, Fifty2: The My Private Brand Project. In 2017, he will debut his newest book, Vanguard: Vintage Originals, a visual tour of innovation and disruption in private brand going back to the mid-1800’s. Dynamic in his presentation while down to earth and frank in his opinions, he has presented at numerous conferences, including FUSE, The Dieline Conference, Packaging that Sells, Omnishopper and PLMA’a annual trade show in Chicago. Durham lives in Charlotte, NC with his wife, Laraine, and two daughters, Olivia and Sarah.