Teague leaves Kmart, joins The Reject Shop board

Former Kmart GM of marketing takes up non-executive board role with ASX-listed discount retailer

Michele Teague has left her role as head of marketing at Kmart and taken up a non-executive director’s position at ASX-listed discount retailer, The Reject Shop.

Teague joined Kmart as GM of marketing in February 2015, working across the low-price department store during a time of successful transformation of the business. Prior to this, Teague was GM of marketing at Metcash for food and grocery for two years. Upon relocating to Australia in 2011, she worked on the agency side of marketing, with a brief stint as managing director of The Campaign Palace.

Michele Teague
Michele Teague

Previously, while in New Zealand, Teague held a number of marketing management roles at Restaurant Brands, Air New Zealand, Pacific Retail Group and Woolworths.

In a statement, The Reject Shop’s chairman, Bill Stevens, confirmed Teague joined the board of directors on 18 September and highlighted an ongoing commitment to building a skills base and diversity that could support continued growth of the retail group.

“Ms Teague has a deep understanding of the challenges of ‘meeting the market’ as well as driving operational efficiency and implementing new concepts in the retail space,” the statement read.

Teague isn’t a stranger to boards, serving as a non-executive member of industry associations as well as a non-executive director at the New Zealand Rugby League.

In revealing her latest role on LinkedIn, Teague said she was excited about taking on a “new adventure”.

“With 345 stores and about $800 million in sales, it’s an Australian success story in discount retailing,” she said. “I am looking forward to meeting the team and my first board meeting next week.”

Kmart has not yet confirmed Teague's replacement or plans for the GM of marketing role.

In its most recent financial report for the year to 30 June, The Reject Shop reported sales of $794 million, a 1.2 per cent increase based on a 52-week year-on-year comparison. EBITDA and net profits were also up by 13.4 per cent and 27.8 per cent, respectively to $38.3 million and $12.3 million.

In his statement to the market, managing director, Ross Sudano, said the business had continued to perform well in an extremely challenging retail environment but said weak consumer confidence and some execution issues around merchandising were key areas for improvement over the coming year.

A number of actions were cited, including better management of promotional activity and frequency of change in-store, as well as reinvestment into key everyday lines.

Teague’s appointment to The Reject Shop’s board followed the departure of Melinda Conrad on 30 June. Conrad had served on the retailer’s board since 2011 and opted to stand down as part of a restructure of her overall board portfolio.

More on Kmart's transformation strategy:

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