Myer hires Sears exec as new merchandise chief

winstanleyMyer has bolstered its turnaround team, hiring Sears executive Allan Winstanley as its new chief merchandise officer.

Winstanley will bring more than 30 years of department store buying experience to Myer, including nine years at UK-based House of Fraser, where he worked under Myer’s new chief executive John King.

He is expected to commence on 2 July and will bring much needed leadership to Myer’s merchandise, buying and planning team following the departure of former chief merchandise officer Daniel Bracken last year.

Myer executive chairman Garry Hounsell said on Thursday that Winstanley was a high-calibre appointment who had a proven track record working with King.

“John and Allan represent a formidable and proven team, being two highly experienced executives who are committed to making Myer more relevant again, to improving the financial performance of the Company and delivering shareholder value,” Hounsell said.

The appointment of Winstanley is a signal that Myer’s turnaround strategy is starting to firm up ahead of what is likely to be a refocus under the leadership of King.

Winstanley will be responsible for addressing a crucial part of Myer that has not been immune to criticism amid ongoing under performance throughout the business.

Myer’s largest shareholder Premier Investments has routinely criticized the department store’s merchandising strategy, with chairman Solomon Lew saying last year that its clearance stock belonged at the Salvation Army.

Winstanley started his career in the 1970s at UK department store Marks & Spencer in logistics before becoming a buyer for the business until 1998, when he moved to Next Group as a formal wear buyer.

In 2000 he moved on to manage buying for UK formal wear specialist Moss Bros, before taking a job as the executive director of menswear, beauty and childrenswear at House of Fraser in 2005, according to his LinkedIn profile.

He worked under King for seven years in that role before being moved over to manage women’s apparel, accessories and beauty, leaving the business in mid-2014 (before King) for a chief merchandise officer role at Selfridges-owned De Bijenkorf in the Netherlands.

Winstanley went to the US at the start of 2017, serving as the President of Sears & Kmart Apparel from San Francisco.

Chief general counsel departs

Myer also announced on Thursday that chief general counsel and company secretary Richard Amos, has resigned after just under three years at the business.

Amos led the legal and communications team and will be replaced in his role as company secretary by senior corporate counsel Jonathan Garland.

“[Amos] leaves the company with the best wishes of the board and the executive management team,” Myer said on Thursday.

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