Bernie Brookes


The power of brave branding: Australian fashion start-up announced as a finalist for the World Retail Awards

7:25PM | Sunday, 21 July

Australian online fashion start-up Shoes of Prey has been named as a finalist in the World Retail Awards.   Founded by Mike Knapp and married couple Michael and Jodie Fox in 2010, the brand has boomed over the last few years. Shoes of Prey lets users create shoes using its online design tool.   The brand has recently opened its first bricks-and-mortar retail store and is one of six finalists in the Store Design of the Year round.   Jodie Fox told StartupSmart the nomination was recognition of the power of brave brands, and that start-ups shouldn’t shy away from developing a strong and unique brand.   “So long as you are true to expressing who your brand is and providing a valuable experience to your audience, don't be afraid to be bold and make a statement,” she says.   “Start-ups are designed to disturb the space they compete in. It's been a really successful venture for us and we are thrilled to be listed as a finalist.”   Fox says the store was designed to showcase the creative possibilities of the Shoes of Prey brand.   “The store was meticulously designed, from the scent to the soundtrack to the sculptures, to engender an atmosphere of unbridled imagination that invites women to reconsider the way they shop for shoes,” she says.   Managing the rapid growth of Shoes of Prey across multiple areas of the business has been a challenge. Fox says the focus has been on ensuring the customer experience remains strong.   “This involves everything from improving the product, enhancing the website, to messaging our brand and then scaling production to keep up with demand.   “This process now involves the boutique, and while it's a challenge, it's also exciting to be able to bring a product that I love and believe in to more and more women,” Fox says.   Finalists for the World Retail Awards are assessed by a panel of 16 judges, including Myer chief executive Bernie Brookes.   The winners will be announced on August 2.

THE NEWS WRAP: Treasury warns budget figures are based on “unsustainable” commodity prices

5:16PM | Wednesday, 22 May

New reports from the Parliamentary Budget Office and the Treasury have called into question key figures in the federal budget, with the reports raising the prospect of a blowout in the 2016/17 budget.   According to the reports, the federal budget assumes a short term increase in commodity prices followed by a steady decline, leading to a budget surplus of $5 billion for fiscal year 2017.   Weaker commodity prices, however, would lead to deficit of between $5 billion to $22 billion, with significant tax increases or budget cuts needed to make up the shortfall.   This shows there is a coal and iron ore bubble that has made the Australian budget numbers look much better than they really are. As the miners keep digging, and more hot air comes out of commodity prices, that drives most of that massive gap,” says Deloitte Access Economics director Chris Richardson.   Telstra prepares staff for job losses as part of restructure   Telstra has warned of potential job losses as part of a restructure, according to an internal memo to staff from chief operation officer Brendon Riley.   Under the proposed changes, which will be rolled out between now and July 1st, the telecommunications giant is set to redirect resources to high-growth businesses such as wireless and network services and away from loss making divisions such as its Sensis directories business.   “Our traditional businesses are coming under increasing margin pressure and the largest portion of our budget is spent supporting them. This is not a sustainable business model and we have an obligation to redefine our contributions to Telstra,” Riley says.   Myer to chase discretionary sales after releasing strong quarterly results   Myer chief executive Bernie Brookes has announced the retail giant is set to launch an aggressive stocktake sale in attempt to lure customers from competitors such as Target, in a bid to grow its share of consumer discretionary spending.   “The pleasing part for us is that it will coincide with our very aggressive stocktake sale, which will make sure we're still in play in an active way over the course of the next couple of months,” Brooks said.   The news came as Myer reported sales were up 0.5% to $652.5 million for the quarter ending April, up 0.4% on a same store basis.   Overnight   The Dow Jones Industrial Average is down 0.53% to 15,306.40. The Aussie dollar is down to US97 cents.

Niche focus helps eyeclarity take out Independent Retailer of the Year award

3:32AM | Monday, 11 March

A host of retailers have claimed titles at the 2012 Australian Retail Awards including Oroton, Pandora, Lenard’s Chicken and eyeclarity, which was named Independent Retailer of the Year.

THE NEWS WRAP: GST food exemption has proven costly: Former PM Howard

3:47AM | Monday, 11 March

The decision to exempt food from GST has cost the Federal Government billions of dollars since 2000, according to former prime minister John Howard.

Retailers ignore executives' calls to abandon GST fight

3:14AM | Monday, 11 March

The retail campaign to make online purchases subject to GST has been dealt a heavy blow, with prominent executives saying companies should give up the fight and accept it'll never happen.

Business leaders hit out at “debilitating” Labor leadership battle

2:31AM | Thursday, 23 February

Labor’s leadership battle could cripple the already-fragile state of business confidence, business groups warn, with concerns raised over how Kevin Rudd’s potential return would affect conditions.

Don’t get too tied up in tactics when things get tough

9:36AM | Tuesday, 25 September

Five days after seeing Myer CEO Bernie Brookes speak I am still thinking about what he had to say.

Emphasise the importance of bad news

9:47AM | Friday, 9 September

Yesterday I wrote about the great Bernie Brookes speech I attended, where he talked about the importance of getting your organisation to recognise the unsung heroes of your business, such as the IT or supply chain departments.

Make your IT division sexy

9:21AM | Tuesday, 11 September

This article first appeared on January 10th, 2011.   The other day I met Bernie Brookes, the chief executive of Myer.

Retailers set to follow Myer’s free shipping lead

8:13AM | Tuesday, 2 August

Retail giant Myer is now offering free shipping to online shoppers, with industry experts warning the move will set a precedent for other retailers to follow suit.

Small retailers ‘hit hardest’ by IR regime

6:43AM | Monday, 20 June

Small retailers are suffering the most from Australia’s labour laws, according to industry groups, despite a high-profile attack by larger retailers on the Federal Government’s workplace regime.

THE NEWS WRAP: Retailers attack workplace laws

6:33PM | Sunday, 19 June

Three of Australia’s largest retailers have attacked the federal government workplace regulations, claiming that they are hampering businesses.

Cold snap could heat up retail sales

5:12AM | Thursday, 12 May

Retail experts say start-ups can mimic Myer and David Jones by offering season-specific sales, after both department stores said they’re relying on winter as a platform to pick up sales.

BRW executive rich list dominated by mining

3:46PM | Thursday, 24 March

Mining magnate Andrew Forrest has bumped media mogul Rupert Murdoch off the top spot in this year’s BRW Executive Rich List, with mining companies dominating the list of Australia’s 200 wealthiest executives.

Small retailers unfazed by GST threshold

3:26AM | Tuesday, 1 March

A survey of small retailers reveals 62% do not believe the Federal Government needs to change the $1,000 GST threshold on overseas online purchases, contradicting many of their larger competitors.

Small retailers prepare wish list for Productivity Commission inquiry into sector’s future

1:07AM | Monday, 24 January

Retail bodies are busy preparing wish list of requests for next month’s Productivity Commission’s inquiry into the sector, saying the want the inquiry to address red tape, leases and trading hours as well as the controversial issue of the GST exemption for goods bought overseas.

Small retailers hit out at web sales campaign

1:36PM | Tuesday, 4 January

Small retailers should do more to compete with overseas online retailers rather than support a major campaign to remove the tax-free threshold, according to government and industry representatives.

Myer and Harvey Norman plot China-based websites

12:25AM | Monday, 6 December

Retail experts have reacted critically to Myer and Harvey Norman’s ambitious plans to launch China-based websites in order to deliver GST-free goods to Australia.