The Reject Shop recuits marketer to board; cites ongoing challenging retail conditions

ASX-listed retailer recruits former Lion Nathan, McDonalds marketing leader as non-executive director

The Reject Shop has brought on experienced marketing leader, Margaret Zabel, as a non-executive director, noting her lineage in customer-centred transformation, brand strategy and innovation.

Zabel has more than 20 years of senior executive experience working across brands in the FMCG, technology and communication industries, along with strong industry expertise. She was previously national marketing director for Lion Nathan, VP of marketing for McDonalds Australia, marketing, sales and customer service senior positions at PepsiCo / Frito-Lay Australia as well as CEO of the Advertising Council Australia.

Currently, Zabel is a non-executive director across G8 Education, Collective Wellness Group and Fairtrade Australia and New Zealand, and previously spent five years on the board at R U OK. Zabel’s appointment to The Reject Shop commences 4 June 2021.

In an ASX statement, the company noted Zabel’s specialist background in customer centred business transformation, brand strategy, innovation, digital communications, customer experience and change leadership as key reasons for her appointment.

News of the latest board recruit came as part of a wider ASX trading update that also revealed The Reject Shop’s CBD and metro-based stores in large shopping centres continue to experience challenging trading conditions in the ongoing Covid global pandemic.

However, a consumer trend that’s consistent with other retailers is that shopping behaviour has shifted towards less frequent shopping visits with increased basket size.

“At this stage, the company believes that customer shopping behaviour will normalise once broader concerns around COVID-19 reduce and more of the community are fully vaccinated for COVID-19. Until that time, the company will continue to navigate the short-term challenges associated with COVID-19 and management will remain focused on cost reduction,” the statement read.

According to the ASX release, preliminary comparable sales for the 48 weeks to 30 May 2021 are down 1.4 per cent on FY19, while CBD locations and large shopping centre sales across 47 stores were down 12 per cent. The Reject Shop is forecasting full-year sales for FY21 to be between $776 million and $778 million and EBIT for FY21 to be $8m-$10m.

Find out more about how other marketers are joining boards here.

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