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Press Release: Former stock boy turned CEO charts a new course for retail dominance

Myer’s reappointed Chief Executive and Managing Director, Bernie Brookes outlines his ambitious plans to drive a 100 day transformation for Myer: strengthening reward programs, customer service, online delivery and experience, store layouts and revamping product, in an exclusive interview with Channel Nine’s The Bottom Line (airing Saturday 19 April at 4.00pm).

In this personal and revealing interview, Brookes describes his journey from former stock boy to CEO and Managing Director and his plans to reposition the iconic Australian department store chain by tackling global online retail threats head-on.

“We’ve got a large number of retailers arriving on our doorsteps, some already here, and these are world class retailers selling significantly more volume than a lot of our home grown retailers and therefore they are a significant new competition,” said Brookes.

He tells host of The Bottom Line and Chief Executive of CPA Australia Alex Malley that the most prominent opportunity for Myer is to reinforce their competitive position and stability in the retail market as Australia’s largest retailer. Myer has a total of 68 department stores spanned across the country, and employs over 14,000 staff members.

“They want to know what we’re doing to compete with the H&M’s and the Zara’s and the online onslaught that we’re getting and they want us to be competitive, they want us to ensure that their jobs are guaranteed and that’s a big obligation and a big responsibility that we have,” he said.

Myer’s ‘5 Point Plan’ will be supported by the opportunity to reinvigorate the whole management team, bringing to the company new leaders who are energised and committed to the business’ transformation.

“The leader of the pack sets the pace of the pack…the business is going to do the same.”

Brookes’ reappointment includes grooming and vetting home grown talent to take his position in a few years’ time, and ignoring the hype that surrounds international talent.

“We’ve got to breed our own, we’ve got to build the next level of senior management in retail that are effectively there to become the future CEOs and chairmen of companies.”

Brought on as Myer’s Chief Executive and Managing Director in 2006, Brookes has had to dig into personal equity to keep the company afloat.

“We all rolled the dice backing the fact that we could bring all our skills together and turn the business around… we were able to pay our mortgages back but it could have gone the other way.”

Having experienced times throughout his career where salary cuts and re-mortgages have had to be made, Brookes has highly valued the support of his family and the important role it has played in his business triumphs.

“I’ve been very fortunate to have great success largely because of the support of the family infrastructure, that’s worked pretty well for me.”

Bernie Brookes’ exclusive interview with Alex Malley on The Bottom Line airs on Saturday 19 April at 4.00pm on Channel Nine.

Watch Bernie Brookes’ full interview with The Bottom Line.

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Bernie Brookes in The Bottom Line is Episode 10 in a 24 episode series. 

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Sophie Blue – or 0416 006 821