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Fireside Chat with Myer CEO Richard Umbers: Startups & Innovation in Retail


Thursday, 23 June 2016 from 5:50 pm to 8:30 pm (AEST)

Fireside Chat with Myer CEO Richard Umbers: Startups &...

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InnovAction, Startup Leadership Program and Fishburners proudly present a fireside chat on startups & innovation in retail with the CEO of Myer, Richard Umbers.

Last year, Myer announced its partnership with Sydney-based personalised leather goods startup, Mon Purse. This partnership began with the launch of two in-store Mon Purse brand destinations at Myer Melbourne and Myer Sydney in time for Christmas and due to its popularity, is now expanding into an additional six Myer stores.

Join InnovAction founder, Grant Downie, as he discusses with Richard how he came to be at the helm of Myer and how he plans for Australia's largest department store to innovate and partner with startups.

About Richard

Richard’s first job was actually in retail, with a part time role working at UK retailer Debenhams during his university degree. After spending four years as an Army Officer in the Corps of Royal Engineers, Richard moved to the private sector and held various management roles at German supermarket giant Aldi, including Managing Director (North West UK and Republic of Ireland).

After nine years with Aldi, Richard relocated to New Zealand to take on the role of Chief Operating Officer, then Managing Director with the country's largest private sector employer, supermarket chain Progressive Enterprises.

In 2006, after Woolworths Australia acquired Progressive Enterprises, Richard took the opportunity to move to Sydney and become the General Manager of Buying & Marketing and later the General Manager of Customer Engagement for Woolworths. There he took on responsibilities including loyalty and customer analytics including launching the Everyday Rewards loyalty program.

Richard's next role saw him head to Melbourne, becoming the Executive General Manager of eServices (ecommerce and parcel services) at Australia Post and CEO of StarTrack. Here he was responsible for StarTrack's integration into Australia Post as well as developing Australia Post's digital offering and delivering new online initiatives to drive business growth.

In September 2014, Richard joined Myer as Chief Information and Supply Chain Officer, with responsibility for online strategy, financial services, the MYER one loyalty program, as well as the logistics and IT functions. In March the following year, Richard became CEO and Manager Director, taking over the reins from Bernie Brookes.

In the first 12 months in the role, Richard's entrepreneurial character has really shone through, telling News Corp's Business Daily that he wants to take the "department" out of the department store, saying it is too restrictive and that he wants customers to feel comfortable shopping in the store environment.

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