Erica Berchtold appointed Best & Less CEO

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By Published On: April 14, 20230 Comments

Best & Less Group has appointed former CEO of THE ICONIC Erica Berchtold as its new Chief Executive Officer.

Best & Less has announced the appointment of Erica Berchtold as Chief Executive Officer, effective 4 September 2023. Berchtold was previously the CEO at THE ICONIC.

Berchtold will be replacing Chief Executive Officer Rodney Orrock, who departed the business in February due to health issues. Executive Chair Jason Murray currently helms the business and will continue to do so until Berchtold commences her role as CEO.

Berchtold has long been involved in the fashion industry with over 20 years industry experience. She was appointed CEO of THE ICONIC in 2019, growing the business to over $700 million in net annual revenues.. Previously, she was Managing Director of Super Retail Group’s Rebel sporting goods division, where under her leadership revenues grew to nearly $1 billion over seven years. Before that, she worked for Specialty Fashion Group as General Manager for Crossroads and Autograph, two women’s fashion apparel brands with more than 200 stores across Australia.

Best & Less was started in 1965, the Australian retailer is a staple for low price family clothing with over 200 stores across Australia and an ecommerce presence.

The company has seen exponential growth in recent years as it transforms into an everyday low price specialty retailer from a high-low retail model. Its half year results for FY23, released in February,  show the company is in a strong position for further growth with total revenue up 13 percent Yoy to $324.8 million. BLG Executive Chair, Jason Murray, said: “Having successfully transformed the business to an everyday low price specialty value retailer, we are laying the foundations for the next phase of growth. We are evolving to a ‘one company, two brands’ structure, which will enable us to operate even more efficiently as we continue to invest in enhancing our omnichannel capabilities and rolling out new stores. This includes six in the second half, which will see our store count grow to 251 across Australia and New Zealand by the end of FY23.”

According to Best & Less’ press release, Berchtold is a perfect fit for the company as a customer-focused and data-driven retailer with deep experience across the retail value chain, from merchandising through to retail operations and digital and online development and execution.

This year, she was voted third place in the Top 50 People in ecommerce awards for 2023, being nominated for the NSW Women of the Year Awards and InStyle Women of Style Businesswoman of the Year Award, and was named Michael Page Retail Executive of the Year in 2016. She is a Council Member of the Australian Retailers Association, a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and former President of the Australian Sporting Goods Association.

Best & Less Executive Chair, Jason Murray said, “After an extensive global search, I am delighted to announce Erica Berchtold as the next CEO of Best & Less Group. Erica’s strong retail experience and track record of delivering profitable growth in a variety of retail markets, alongside her proven leadership skills, makes her the ideal candidate to lead the business through its next phase of growth.

“The Board has been extremely impressed by Erica’s passion for our customer and category, and her value creation mindset. We look forward to working closely with Erica and BLG’s senior leadership team to deliver our strategy to extend our market position in the value retail apparel segment.”

Erica Berchtold said, “I am looking forward to joining Best & Less Group at such an exciting time in the company’s growth journey. The team has done a fantastic job to build strong foundations for future growth, and I am excited by the challenge of executing the next phase of our growth strategy. BLG’s brands are synonymous with quality and value and having a close affinity with mum and her family. As a mother of three young children myself I can personally attest to that and I look forward to deepening that relationship further to move us closer to our goal of being the number one choice for mums.”

Erica will commence her role on 4 September 2023.

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About the Author: Rosalea Catterson

Rosalea is the Editor of Power Retail. With a keen interest in consumer behaviour and tech, she covers everything ecommerce and hosts the Power Retail Power Talks Podcast.

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