Bernie Brookes takes academic role

Bernie Brookes

Former Myer chief executive Bernie Brookes has found new digs in academia, joining Swinburne University’s customer experience & insight research group as an adjunct industry fellow.

The retail executive, who until recently was living in South Africa as the chief executive of Edcon, will work on advancing customer experience knowledge and practice across a “range of contexts”, the university said.

Brookes said he was excited to give back to the retail industry after decades working in the sector at home and abroad.

“Retail is a great, dynamic industry and I am excited to have the opportunity to impart my knowledge and give back to others,” Brookes said.

“Australian retail is somewhat insular, and we can learn much from other countries. I have been fortunate to work in the retail sector across four countries, and I hope to impart that knowledge.”

Brookes made waves several months ago on his return to Australia, declaring that Australian retail had stagnated in recent years.

The newly formed CXI Research Group studies customer experience across “the four pillars of retail”, including: consumer behaviour, service innovation, employee experience and sport and wellbeing.

The Australian retail hall of fame member will work on deep industry engagement in those areas with the newly formed CXI research group’s co-director, associate professor Sean Sands.

“The addition of Brookes to the CXI group brings together a cutting-edge grouping of academics, industry leaders, and global experts to advance the art and science of experience and assist Australian brands to compete beyond price,” Sands said.

“This role recognises Bernie’s vast contributions to the retail sector in Australia and globally. We are lucky to have such great support and be able to draw on Bernie’s experience and knowledge to guide the development of Australia’s first dedicated CX research group blending academic rigour and commercial acumen,” he continued.

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