Myer has restructured its management team

Myer Spring fashion lunch at Flemington Racecourse . Sam Tabone/WireImage

Myer, under pressure from a weak retail market, announced a major restructure of its management team, emphasising the importance to the department store of digital skills.

A new position, that of chief operating officer (COO), has been created and the chief financial officer is being replaced.

Myer says today’s management restructure will create a business that is more integrated across channels and better equipped to capitalise on the structural shifts occurring across retailing.

A short time ago, Myer shares were down almost 2% to $0.642.

Myer didn’t reveal numbers, but the latest move will reduce staff. The changes will free a whole floor of space at the Myer support office.

Today’s announcement gave no trading update. The market had been expecting something to follow on from the mid-December update when company warned that poor trading conditions were expected to result in a “profit shortfall”.

Myer CEO and Managing Director Richard Umbers said today: “Recent trading conditions have been tough, in part as a result of reduced traffic to physical stores.

“In spite of this, we have continued to make good progress on our transformation agenda, improving range and service to our customers, building a high growth omni-channel business and improving productivity and efficiency.”

Myer, and its competitor David Jones, have been hit by the retail crunch, an increasingly highly competitive market with digital players making inroads into market share and consumer sentiment keeping spending down.

Mark Cripsey, Myer’s Chief Digital and Data Officer, has been promoted to COO, reporting to Umbers.

Umbers said: “This newly created role reflects the importance of digital and data across the whole business, and the need for us to seamlessly integrate our physical and online offers.”

Cripsey’s new responsibilities will incorporate the Myer store network, the online business as well as some marketing, including data analytics.

“Under Mark’s leadership, Myer will be better placed to anticipate and respond to the structural shifts occurring in retail and capitalise on the opportunities that exist in improving the use of our customer data,” Umbers said.

In another key appointment, Nigel Chadwick, the former head of finance for Spotless Group, is the new Chief Financial Officer. Grant Devonport will be stepping down as CFO.

Umbers said: “It is with sadness that we farewell a number of team members as a result of these changes. I would like to thank them for their contribution and years of commitment to Myer.”

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