Tuesday, 22 June 2010

David Jones- Is It The Man Or The Brand? - 22/06/10

We were not going to cover the swift departure on Friday of David Jones' CEO Mark McInnes, given we knew that the story was out of the stratosphere in Australia by 5pm Friday. Then by midday yesterday there wasn't much more to tell. Nonetheless we have relented given that Bloomberg Business Week picked up the story with particular focus on the share price shuffle in the lead up to the resignation announcement and post announcement whilst also forecasting where the shares will trade in the short term.

It is true Mark McInnes resided over David Jones, Australia's premium department store, over a period of positive growth and general good news stories. The company experienced strong media heavy seasonal fashion launches, top model 'face-of-the-brand' sign ups and McInnes navigated the brand through a very tough past 20 or so months, which as any retailer will tell you, has been the most challenging in recent history.

Yes, he made some strong cost cutting decisions to return profit to shareholders and was a confident and clever business man. Nonetheless he also had an incredible team with strong and competent players. Yes, there may be a small short term facial tick to the share price however, we believe it is much more about the brand than the man. The David Jones brand has a strong heritage, established in 1838, that says a lot about the evolution and sustainability of the brand. May the show go on... successfully.

Image credit: zimbio.com

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Melinda O’Rourke is the founder and Director of MO Luxury, a dynamic, Sydney-based management firm specialising in luxury brands and services. Melinda and her associates at MO work with local and international brands across prestige retail, fashion, fine jewellery, timepieces and specialised services. Melinda is well-connected, well-read, and well-versed in the demands of the luxury market and its client base. Her advice is firmly based in objectivity and ultimately, accountability. Melinda offers constructive counsel and both strategic and creative thinking and is able to draw upon a strong network of specialised talent to compliment the MO Luxury team as needed. Melinda enjoys excellent industry relationships and is regularly quoted in the business and fashion media. Read more about MO Luxury, www.moluxury.com.au