Myer GM

Robbie Tutt, Myer omnichannel general manager.

Are department stores still relevant? This was question asked of Robbie Tutt, Myer omnichannel general manager, by John Winning, CEO of Winning Group at the 2018 Online Retailer Show in Sydney.

“I think they are relevant and still have a place but have lost their way,” Tutt said. “Department stores need to understand what to give to their customers and that something must be unique.

“Customers can go out and buy any product we sell, because 60 per cent of the products we sell can be bought somewhere else. But what is the incremental thing we need to deliver the great customer experience? Based on customer research, Myer found that customers want great service and be able to get all of their solutions under one roof.”

Winning also asked Tutt how he would rate the in-store and online experience in Myer. Tutt responded candidly saying: “It was not good enough, but is getting better in a number of pockets and will get stronger with the investments we are making in the business. Myer has a very loyal customer base and everyone wants it to succeed. That is what we are hearing from our customers.”

Myer GM and John Winning

Tutt (left) and Winning Group CEO John Winning.

He was also questioned about how Myer will survive the likes of Amazon five years from now.

Tutt said he welcomed the online retailer coming into the market as it was inevitable and a ‘wake-up call’ and made people lift their game. As to how Myer will survive?

“By playing to our strengths and sticking to our core and knowing what to deliver to our customers and staying true to that by delivering customer service in-store. We have 63 stores nationally, something others don’t have and is what we hang our hat on, knowing the customer who walks into our store, buys or shops online or engages with us through any channel, will get a better experience. That is our defence strategy.”

As to how he defined the culture at Myer currently? “COO Mark Cripsey said to me when I first joined Myer that I would learn a lot over three months, and if in that time I fitted into the Myer mould, doing things the way Myer has always done, I would have failed.

“My job is to set up a different culture which, while it is good, is very traditional, is slow and it can take a while to get things done. It’s all about changing the structure, become more agile with a different approach and educating the rest of the company how to do things differently.”

This story was originally published by Appliance Retailer.


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