Erica Berchtold nabs executive award

Erica Berchtold 039321Managing director of Rebel and Amart Sports, Erica Berchtold, has been named Retail Executive of the Year by Michael Page.

In the awards fourth rendition, the global recruitment firm said Berchtold’s embrace of digital technology in combination with interactive shopping experiences for sports shoppers underpinned her win.

“She has been instrumental in the development of the idea, the plan and execution,” said the panel of judges, which included previous Michael Page Retail Executive Award winner Stephen Younane, co-founder and CEO of Retail Prodigy Group.

“Right from the beginning, Erica has been completely hands on and taken ownership of the project.”

Franz Madlener, Executive Chairman at Madlener Corporation, also on the panel of judges, credited Berchtold for reviving Australia’s multi-label leisure and active wear brand – Rebel.

The judges said the Rebel “accelerate” store concept in their Bondi and Chatswood locations showcases the ‘best of traditional bricks and mortar retailing combined with technology and innovation’.

The result, they said, is a multi-sensory experience that immerses customers in a visually exciting, interactive “stadium-like” atmosphere which encourages interactivity and customer engagement. Each store is also uniquely designed to incorporate local art and community influences. For example, in the Bondi store, a 20-metre graffiti wall pays tribute to the world-famous Bondi beach graffiti.

Berchtold in accepting the awards, pointed to challenges present in Australia’s dynamic retail scene.

“Embracing and successfully operating in a multi-channel retail environment is difficult,” she said. “We are constantly thinking of customer data content management as well as coming up with ideas on how to produce, curate and disseminate the content our customers want in this digital environment.”

This year’s award will send Berchtold on a four-day trip to Dubai — one of the world’s top-rated retail destinations and home to large and progressive malls. She will have the opportunity to network with inspiring local industry leaders and gain invaluable insights to grow her business.

“We set out on this search to identify the most valuable retail industry player in innovation and proven results,” said David Khadi, regional director at Michael Page. “The future of sustained growth in Australia’s retail sector is driven by the individuals such as Erica, who are constantly placing themselves ahead of industry trends.”

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