Travels from: Victoria
Passionate about delivering meaningful change in retail
Categories: Business Speakers, Change Management, Customer Service, Entrepreneur, Leadership, Sales
Full Presenter Profile & Bio
With over 40 years’ experience in retail, Peter Wilkinson is passionate about brand, business relationships, structure, processes and change. Peter held a number of senior retail roles including Managing Director of Target Australia, of Myer and Grace Bros Dept Store Group, of The Just Group and of David Jones.
Commencing his career in South Africa, Peter Wilkinson held the positions of Regional Manager of Edgars and General Manager at Truworths. He then migrated to Australia in 1977 to join Target Australia.
After a number of retail roles, Peter was appointed Managing Director of Target Stores at a time when it was grappling with direct competition from Kmart and Big W. A lengthy period of successful market repositioning and profitable growth followed.
After a merger with Coles that formed the Coles Myer Group, Peter was appointed Managing Director of Myer Stores in 1987. At the time, Myer was the largest Department Store in the country, but producing ever diminishing profits. They took earnings above $200 million from sales just over $3.2 billion.
In 1988, he was appointed to the Board of Coles Myer Limited and appointed Chief Operating Officer of the corporation in 1991, responsible for annual retail sales of $17 billion through eleven retail brands.
Peter left Coles Myer in 1995 and spent two productive years heading the Just Jeans Group with Craig Kimberley.
In 1997, he took on the challenge of rebuilding the upmarket Department Store group David Jones. It had been losing market share and profits, subsequent to its float two years earlier. Six years later, Peter left the company after a successful re-positioning of David Jones and years of profitable market share growth.
He now shares his time between several board positions and consulting opportunities as they arise.
Passionate about retail, Peter considers himself a storekeeper at heart although he’s held CEO roles with several of Australia’s leading department stores and discount retailers.
Throughout his career, barely a day has passed that he hasn't walked the store floor, talking to staff, customers and suppliers, feeling the heartbeat of his business. Retail is in his blood and has been his focus for over 40 years. His greatest successes have come when he’s taken roles in organisations in decline. He builds and develops the executive team and senior management in order to deliver meaningful change in the brand, structure, processes and relationships of the business.