Myer appoints John King as CEO: Ex-House of Fraser boss to take on Amazon

By Addie Thomes

Australian department store giant Myer has appointed John King as its new CEO and Managing Director as it seeks to revive its fortunes.

US ecommerce specialist Amazon entered Australia’s retail scene last year and is seen as powerful competition to the country’s longstanding bricks and mortar shopping outlets.

Formerly of House of Fraser, King led the UK department store’s transformation from 2006, selling out to Chinese conglomerate Sanpower in 2014.

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King commented: “I’m excited to lead this iconic Australian company, which like all global retailers, is facing significant change in both the retail environment and consumer shopping habits. I’m looking forward to the challenges and opportunities of this role.”

For the last three years, King has been living and working in the US where he has consulted to a variety of US-based retailers and has been actively involved in a number of startups.

Myer Executive Chairman, Garry Hounsell said of the appointment: “John brings over thirty years of highly relevant retail experience across department stores, specialty retailing, premium global brands, wholesale apparel and discount retail.

“Over the course of his tenure at the House of Fraser, John and his team consistently grew revenues, differentiated the product offering and launched a successful online business, improved EBITDA and reduced the Company’s debt. They also refurbished more than 70% of the property portfolio and implemented a vision, values and culture programme.”

Myer’s share price jumped on news of the announcement, showing confidence in King’s arrival.

At present the business operates 60 stores across Australia which account for 130mn store visits annually. In 2016 the company turned over $3.2bn.


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