Myer looks to new CEO's online skills

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Myer looks to new CEO's online skills

Ran transformation of UK department store.

Myer is hoping the e-commerce credentials of its newly appointed chief executive John King will help the retailer achieve its own online ambitions.

The company announced King would move into the role vacated by Richard Umbers in February, pending approval of an Australian visa.

King, who is presently based in the United States, is said to have spent the past three years providing consultancy to retailers there as well as assisting unnamed start-ups.

However, he has been brought in mainly due to his role in transforming the British department store, House of Fraser.

“Over the course of his tenure at the House of Fraser, John and his team consistently grew
revenues, differentiated the product offering and launched a successful online business,
improved EBITDA and reduced the company’s debt,” Myer’s executive chairman Garry Hounsell said in a statement.

“They also refurbished more than 70 percent of the property portfolio and implemented a vision, values and culture program.”

Hounsell also called on King’s experience in “store operations, e-commerce, sourcing and supply chain” from spending around 30 years in the retail sector.

Myer said back in March that it could split out its online and loyalty units into separate businesses, given the relative strength of both.

The company's online sales grew by almost 49 percent to reach $105.2 million in the first half of the financial year, with the operation now equivalent to sales volumes from the retailer's third largest store.

Additionally, Myer's click and collect business now represents just under 20 percent of the company's overall sales.

Myer’s online operations are presently managed by chief operating officer Mark Cripsey, after he was appointed into a new role in January as part of a drive to omni-channel retailing.

Myer is currently developing an "enhanced" version of its website.

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