An Interview with Shannon Cooney - General Manager of Mr Vitamins/ Business Development Manager at iRetail
Q: What was your first job in retail?
Shannon: In a previous role, I was Detective within the New South Wales Police Force for twelve and a half years. From there I had a strong interest in risk mitigation and solutions to profit loss. I had acquired this skill-set while being a police officer and saw an opportunity at MYER and began my retail career in the profit loss and risk management department. While acquiring a Diploma in Security and Risk management.
Q: After your career at MYER you went on to work at Sanity (Australia's largest music store chain). How did Sanity adapt to increased competition and scepticism in the survival of the music industry?
Shannon: By 2005, Sanity Music was at maximum capacity, we had acquired Virgin Music and iMV Music to make Sanity the leader in music and DVD retail around the country. We had a significant number of stores, but we had to re-work our business model to change with the consumer. Ray Itaoui (Executive Director at Sanity) led a monumental change by transitioning Sanity towards a regional focus instead of densely populated cities. The result? Sanity today have over 160 stores and the last years were some of the most profitable. Customers still love the tangible product and shopping experience.
Q. What are the growing trends in the retail music industry?
Shannon: Theft. External and internal theft is on the rise, and retailers are starting to wise up to the fact that they need to have systems to minimize the down-side of theft. At Sanity we used to have a really high level of theft. One time there was a group of young men who would come into the store and steal the cases of the CD's and then use them to sell 'pirated' CD's at the local markets on the weekend. The earlier you identify the problem, the quicker you can solve it. There a re a number of local and international music artists that continue to make great music across numerous genre's that are embraced by the Australian music community.
Q:You now work as an Advisor at iRetail, quite a diverse group of retailers, what does your day-to-day look like?
Shannon: In my view, working for one of Australia's best retailers - Ray Itaoui, I'm exposed to limitless opportunities. Recently we opened Bras N Things in South Africa, my main role is to advise on the cultural differences, human resources, finance and warehousing so the expansion can be an effective one. One of our newest retailers to iRetail is Rituals which we acquired from Europe to bring down-under. I advise on the warehousing, supply chain and online. And I am always meeting with new retailers. I strongly believe that retail is its own university.
When it comes to enticing shoppers to part with their hard-earned cash, retailers have traditionally relied on a range of advertising and marketing strategies to maximise the appeal of their products. However, changing trends in payments are increasing access and convenience for consumers, making it easier for them to say yes.
Pre-paid gift cards, delayed payment options like AfterPay, even the tried and trusted lay-by is making a comeback, as savvy retailers exploit opportunities to persuade consumers to buy.
Options like Afterpay allow shoppers to purchase an item online and have it shipped immediately, while spacing out their payments over time. These solutions assume the risk, paying the retailer the full cost of the item while entering into a short-term agreement with the customer to allow them to pay off the purchase price in four interest-free instalments.
It’s proving very popular with younger shoppers who don’t have credit cards but want to purchase now and pay later, or with people who don’t want to use credit cards and potentially incur interest fees. Since there are no credit checks and the amounts involved are not large, those with a poor credit history also find this a convenient way to manage their money.
The Total Retail Expo was an exciting expo to be at this year. Why? The depth of content and the quality of speakers made it an unforgettable experience for retailers across Australia. Not only were the heavyweights of industry at TR16, but also the up and coming "New Retailers" who are creating their own rules in retail.
When? 10th & 11th May
Why? To provide a dynamic conference for the progression of the retail industry
If you missed out on attending the TR16 expo this year, don't worry. Seamless 2017 is the newly branded expo that will bring the "Whos who" of Australian retail next year.
Futura has been trusted by tens of thousands of retailers over the past forty years. And with the ever-changing trends of retailers adapting to technology - Futura has launched a channel partners network that will serve the global retail community.
Trusted software and technical consultants are chosen to join the Channel Network which in turn will empower retailers to make informed, educated and financially-sound decisions for their retail IT.
For further information about the Channel Partners Network you can contact myself (Matthew) on the details below.
(02) 8905 3110
"Futura 4 Retail Solution delivers everything you need to have a complete retail management system: software, hardware, training and support. From purchasing to point of sale, Futura enables you to manage your business to the finest detail easily and accurately. It also integrates easily with your existing loyalty, CRM, payment, business intelligence and web solutions.
The AGHA is very pleased to be exclusively partnering with Futura Retail Solution to offer their outstanding POS software and hardware.""
~ Louise Geisker
Memberships Director at AGHA
ABN: 74 096 999 763
The Futura group of companies began in Hamburg in 1975, when Futura directors began working with one of Europe's largest fashion retailers to create their merchandise control system. The key components of this system were then programmed into Futura as a complete enterprise retail system (ERS). Since then more than 35,000 installations have occurred across the globe.
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