Myer brings on new marketing, media chiefs

GM marketing and head of media roles come a year into the customer first plan and following release of FY19 results

Aaron Achurch and Gemma Hunter
Aaron Achurch and Gemma Hunter

Myer has confirmed a new GM of marketing and head of media as part of efforts to bolster its marketing and customer function. The news comes a week after the embattled department store giant announced lower sales but stronger operating profits for its FY19.

Taking up the Myer general manager of marketing post is Gemma Hunter, who most recently spent the past nine years with Mediacom, leading content strategy, creative, production, SEO, social and data analytics teams. Her resume includes work across virtually every consumer-facing vertical including FMCG, retail, fashion, sports, gaming, technology, alcohol, motoring, charity, leisure and entertainment and banking and finance.

Assuming the head of media role, meanwhile, is Aaron Achurch, who boasts of 15 years’ experience working in the media space and comes from Mindshare, where he worked across IAG and IKEA. His resume also includes working for Ikon Communications, where he helped brands such as Diageo, Bankwest, Vodafone and the Australian Rugby Union.

Both new senior marketers report to Myer chief customer officer, Geoff Ikin, and commence their roles in mid-September. Ikin himself took up his role, covering all customer-facing functions including online, marketing and advertising, last November.

“With the key appointments of Gemma and Aaron to these roles, we are bolstering our marketing and communications capability,” Ikon said in a statement. “The experience Gemma and Aaron will bring to these roles will be instrumental in delivering the work underway to re-engage with our customer, putting them firmly at the heart of all that we do.”

Hunter noted Myer’s position as a loved and respected brand in Australia. “To be a driving force in the work that is underway, reigniting passion in the brand by focusing on customer experience and emotive storytelling is a once in a lifetime opportunity,” she commented.  

Achurch saw enormous potential through advertising and communications to show to the Australian community the positive changes underway at Myer.  

“This includes the addition of new brands, offers and experiences that you will only get at Myer,” he added.  

The appointments comes a week after ASX-listed Myer released its full-year 2019 results, reporting a 3.5 per cent drop in total sales to $2.99 billion,  or a 1.3 per cent drop in comparable store sales.  

On a more positive note, EBITDA was up 7.2 per cent to $160.1 million, while net profit after tax lifted 2.2 per cent to $33.2 million. Online sales proved the bright spot, rising 25.6 per cent to $262.3m, with digital sales up 21.9 per cent to $292.1m. This represents 9.8 per cent of total group sales. The figures were a marked turnaround from the half a billion dollar loss reported in FY18.

Upon announcing the results, Myer CEO and managing director, John Kong, said the figures demonstrated a focus on profitable sales, disciplined management of costs and cash, and deleveraging the business in its first year of the ‘Customer First Plan’.  

“We have progressed a number of strategic initiatives, but recognise there is much more to be done to transform this business in the interests of customers and shareholders,” he said. “Pleasingly, customer service metrics have improved during the year, reflecting back-office efficiencies, the new labour model that ensured more appropriate service levels at peak trading times, greater training levels and improve product knowledge.  

“The rollout of new and ‘Only at Myer’ brands continues with a significant brand refresh currently underway across all stores, with more than 90 new brands expected to be added to our range by Christmas 2019.”    

Follow CMO on Twitter: @CMOAustralia, take part in the CMO conversation on LinkedIn: CMO ANZ, follow our regular updates via CMO Australia's Linkedin company page, or join us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CMOAustralia.   

 

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