Retailers' boss quits as online challenge grows

DAVE BURGESS
Last updated 05:00 12/02/2014

Relevant offers

Industries

Wellington industrial properties up for sale drop, investors slow to buy Auckland-based institution buys Wellington's Karori Mall for $22 million NZ one of world's most competitive economies: World Economic Forum Retailers leave as uncertainty reigns about Otaki's retail future Prime Minister opens state of the art fish oil processing plant in Nelson Council staff furious at CEO's 11 per cent rise when they were offered just 1.7 per cent Argentinian buyers of Onetai Station get two warnings from OIO Start of Snapper sustainability measures welcomed by local fishers No excuses for low punches to boxing's bottom line, says Sky Receiver selling undeveloped Lower Hutt site linked to former Kirkcaldie & Stains chairman

The rise of online shopping and social media signalled the end of the road for New Zealand Retailers Association chief executive John Albertson.

Albertson, 65, will step down as the association's boss at the end of the month after a 17-year stint which coincided with the growth of online shopping.

He will be replaced by Mark Johnston, who joins the association next week from the role as Plunket's group general manager for fundraising, marketing and communications.

Albertson said the time was right to hand over the reins.

"The industry is going through such huge change at the moment . . . in the online space, social media . . . it needs somebody younger with a bit more energy than an old fella with 17 years on the clock."

Albertson did offer to "prepare the next round of strategic thinking" but even he was not convinced it was in everyone's best interests.

"I wasn't going to be there to drive it - I'm not going to go on forever - and I thought it was important that whoever built the plan should be the one that drives the plan."

The growth of online shopping and social media had radically transformed traditional retailing, Albertson said.

"The industry has had to become more aware of what the customer is up to. The customer actually drives the business now.

"Now retailers have to work at it much harder to make sure they've got the right offer for their customers . . . that is probably the biggest change over the 17 years."

Albertson said his successor would need time to consider the strategic direction of the association in the evolving retail world.

"Associations generally are going to have to look at where they derive revenue from and the kind of services they offer."

Ad Feedback

- BusinessDay

Special offers

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content