Spotlight CMO switches fabrics for world homewares with new COO post

Spotlight's GM of marketing purchases equity stake in handmade, world-themed homewares and furniture retailer, Ishka

Spotlight’s marketing chief has bought an equity stake and taken charge of operations, digital and marketing at growing Australian retail brand, Ishka.

Jono Gelfand has spent the past 24 years with Spotlight Retail Group, most recently as its GM of marketing, and was recognised for his strategic efforts by being included on CMO’s inaugural CMO50 list in 2015. He officially started with Ishka last week as chief operating officer.

Ishka is a privately-owned, Victorian-based retailer focused on homewares, furniture, fashion and jewellery with a world and handmade theme. The business has been around for 46 years and thanks to a change in majority ownership five years ago, has grown its store footprint from eight to 40 stores nationally.

Jon Gelfand
Jon Gelfand


Gelfand said the opportunity to buy into the brand was too good to refuse.

“I wanted to do something where I could have ownership and this was a good logical step,” he told CMO. “I’d been with Spotlight for 24 years and loved it, and have left on good terms. This was an opportunity to have equity share and add and create a lot of value.”

On Gelfand’s short-term priorities list is identifying and consolidating the rhythm of sales and operations across the fast-growing business, with an emphasis on better aligning group buyers with store managers. He noted while locations are all company owned, each has its own personality and managers are empowered to run their stores according to products that sell well in their local area.

“Where I can add value is the logistics, marketing and digital side,” he said.

Digital is another priority. According to Gelfand, Ishka has been experiencing 100 per year year-on-year growth across its ecommerce business for the last four years.

“This makes ecommerce an important part of our ongoing growth strategy,” he said.

A third focus is customer engagement and strategic marketing. Gelfand said the brand has built strong customer advocacy over the years and has a healthy loyalty program with nearly 1 million members.

Rather than invest in mass marketing, Gelfand said the emphasis will be on below-the-line communications activity on an increasingly one-to-one basis and through email and digital channels, with the exception being radio. Ishka has four staff working in marketing, including a marketing manager and three employees largely focused on creative and design output.

Longer-term, the priority is “explosive growth”, Gelfand said, adding Ishka hoped to double its national retail footprint over the next four years, expanding into greenfield locations such as Sydney metro, Queensland and Western Australia.

CMO understands Spotlight is now on the hunt for a new marketing leader to replace Gelfand, who left four weeks ago.


Follow CMO on Twitter: @CMOAustralia, take part in the CMO conversation on LinkedIn: CMO ANZ, join us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CMOAustralia, or check us out on Google+: google.com/+CmoAu

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Latest Videos

Conversations over a cuppa with CMO: Microsoft's Pip Arthur

​In this latest episode of our conversations over a cuppa with CMO, we catch up with the delightful Pip Arthur, Microsoft Australia's chief marketing officer and communications director, to talk about thinking differently, delivering on B2B connection in the crisis, brand purpose and marketing transformation.

More Videos

We can deliver DIP N PAY JP54,JET A1,D2,FOB @Rotterdam CRUDE OIL CIF /DIP N PAY TANKFARM CHINA ,we have sellers that can work based on st...

JSafra Bank

Google+ and Blogger cozy up with new comment system

Read more

JP54,D2, D6, JetA1 EN590Dear Buyer/ Buyer mandate,We currently have Available FOB Rotterdam/Houston for JP54,D2, D6,JetA1 with good and w...

Collins Johnson

Oath to fully acquire Yahoo7 from Seven West Media

Read more

Great content and well explained. Everything you need to know about Digital Design, this article has got you covered. You may also check ...

Ryota Miyagi

Why the art of human-centred design has become a vital CX tool

Read more

Interested in virtual events? If you are looking for an amazing virtual booth, this is definitely worth checking https://virtualbooth.ad...

Cecille Pabon

Report: Covid effect sees digital events on the rise long-term

Read more

Thank you so much for sharing such an informative article. It’s really impressive.Click Here & Create Status and share with family

Sanwataram

Predictions: 14 digital marketing predictions for 2021

Read more

Blog Posts

A Brand for social justice

In 2020, brands did something they’d never done before: They spoke up about race.

Dipanjan Chatterjee and Xiaofeng Wang

VP and principal analyst and senior analyst, Forrester

Determining our Humanity

‘Business as unusual’ is a term my organisation has adopted to describe the professional aftermath of COVID-19 and the rest of the tragic events this year. Social distancing, perspex screens at counters and masks in all manner of situations have introduced us to a world we were never familiar with. But, as we keep being reminded, this is the new normal. This is the world we created. Yet we also have the opportunity to create something else.

Katja Forbes

Managing director of Designit, Australia and New Zealand

Should your business go back to the future?

In times of uncertainty, people gravitate towards the familiar. How can businesses capitalise on this to overcome the recessionary conditions brought on by COVID? Craig Flanders explains.

Craig Flanders

CEO, Spinach

Sign in