Gm People & Culture at Surfstitch

We interviewed retailers to hear their insights and adventures in the retail world. Meet Vicki Klunyk, General Manger of People and Culture at SurfStitch

  1. How long have you been in retail? / How did your retail career begin?

I started in retail in 1986 when I joined Myer in their Management Development Program. I worked for Myer 3 times over a 20-year period. Roles included Sales Manager, Personnel Manager and Organisational Development Consultant at Coles Myer.

  1. What is the biggest challenge working in retail and in your opinion what steps to overcome this challenge are.

Continually reinventing yourself to be relevant to new consumers. To overcome this, SurfStitch is building new brand partnerships, going into new categories of merchandise and developing our vertical brands to curate coastal culture.

  1. How do you keep your team motivated?

Finding out what is important to them at work and in their lives. Focusing on their areas of strength and giving them stretch opportunities in line with their career goals. Being real and sharing my experiences; both good and bad.

  1. Retail is a very competitive industry – How do you stay current and what trends are you focusing on at present and why?

Personally, I joined a 100% pure play retailer to become more digitally savvy. The difference between our business and bricks and mortar is sometimes the same and often quite different. I haven’t lost my love of learning. I’ll retire when I do!

  1. Where do you see the future of retail?

Department stores will continue to decline as their footprint is too big. More and more pop-ups will emerge testing and trialling new ideas. The customer experience will take over from the product experience for bricks and mortar stores and companies that don’t get it won’t survive. On-line retailing will grow exponentially, and delivery times will shorten. Sustainable packaging will become the norm and loyalty will continue to erode for the masses.