David Jones appoints omnichannel director to unite in-store and digital

Australian department store promotes GM of online to leadership ranks with remit to better connect physical and digital experiences

Kate Bergin
Kate Bergin

David Jones has appointed a new director of omnichannel to its leadership ranks as it works to bring bricks-and-mortar and digital experiences closer together.  

The department store giant has promoted Kate Bergin from general manager of online to omnichannel director following the departure of its long-serving retail director, Aaron Faraguna. Bergin has spent the last three years in the online post and was previously David Jones’ head of strategy and the office of the CEO.  

Prior to joining David Jones, Bergin was head of retail within the Country Road Group, working across the Mimco brand then Witchery. It was her second stint with Country Road, having previously overseen retail and regional operations for the Country Road and Trenery brands. Her resume also includes a stint with Rodd & Gunn.  

A David Jones spokesperson said the group is delighted to confirm Bergin in the newly created omnichannel role.  

“We look forward to Kate’s further contribution as we continue to build and enhance a seamless online and instore experience for David Jones customers,” the statement read. “Kate has driven rapid growth at davidjones.com and has significant retail transformation experience in Australian and international markets, both online and in stores.”    

According to full-year results posted by David Jones parent company, Woolworths Holdings, David Jones experienced a significant decline in footfall off the back of the Australian bushfires and COVID pandemic, for the full-year to 28 June 2020, with turnover and concession sales down by 17.2 per cent in the second half of the year. David Jones ended the year 6.4 per cent below the prior year.  

This was partially offset however by online sales, which grew by 100.7 per cent in H2, contributing 18.4 per cent of total sales across the David Jones business.  

Faraguna leaves David Jones after 16 years with the business and is now said to be pursuing a new career opportunity. His time with the department store saw him rise from store manager to regional manager, general manager of operations and then group general manager of retail.  

“We thank Aaron for his significant contribution and commitment and wish him well in his future endeavours,” the spokesperson said.    

The appointment also comes three months after parent company, Woolworths Holdings, confirmed Scott Fyfe as the new CEO of David Jones. Scott spent four years as CEO of Country Road Group and boasts of more than 20 years of global retail experience including Marks & Spencer in the UK.  

Related: How David Jones is using digital assistants to improve customer service

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