Myer shows what retailers should obsess about

Myer shows what retailers should obsess about

The most successful retail leaders in the world, and they tend to have come up from the floor, all focus on one thing. Obsessively.

The most successful leaders of branded product companies, and they tend to have come up through selling into retail stores and building displays there with their own hands, all focus on one thing. Obsessively.

They focus on the shopper inside the store.   Everything else, within reason, will take care of itself if the shopper has a great experience in the store every time they visit. Choice, price, display, service all need to tick the box.

This observation has been made by retail thought leaders Howard Saunders, Paco Underhill, Scott Galloway and every other adviser to branded product manufacturers, retailers and mall operators.

Phrases like “curate and display,” “appetising displays” and “seamless omni-channel experience” all focus on the shopper having a great time in a store or via the retailer’s online store. 

It matters hugely in grocery, electronics and fast fashion retailing. But it is the absolute essence of success in luxury retailing.  Think Hermes, Apple and Michael Kors.

So, it was a pleasure to see  with Myer’s new collection, narrowed down and settled upon by a leadership team under new CEO Richard Umbers, conform to all of these phrases.   

Daniel Bracken is Myer’s new chief merchandising and marketing officer (CMMO, that’s more letters than his boss’s title) and he and his team have, in the words of The Australian Financial Review’s Sue Mitchell “curated a range (of brands) that better reflects the needs and aspirations of shoppers.”  

Bracken went on to say: “I’d rather (Myer) pack in the best brands presented well in a very minimal way (via appetising displays).”

Apparently, the new spring range launch was harnessed via social media to feed into Myer’s new omni-channel focus.

So, I almost wept with happiness as I called my broker Charlie and said it’s time to buy Myer shares again.

Because if the focus on curating the right stuff and then presenting it well, and making it available in-store and online comes from the CEO and his team, then it’s likely that obsession will flow through to the store floor. And if the displays are good because the store staff are obsessively led and trained around the shopper experience, then it will create a great shopper experience.

I shop at Myer.  And I shop at DJs, Nieman Marcus, CK Tangs,  Lotte, Nordstrom and the newly invigorated Macy’s.  I worked on the floor in Selfridges in London. Done well, luxury department stores have a real place in our shopping mix. I hope the new Myer shines.

Kevin A Moore is a retail expert and the chairman of Crossmark Asia Pacific Holdings and Mirador Retail Technology. He is also the founder of TheRoadToRetail. 

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