Leading value apparel specialty retailer Best & Less Group Holdings Limited (ASX:BST) (BLG or the Company) today announces the appointment of Erica Berchtold as Chief Executive Officer, effective 4 September 2023.
Erica is a highly regarded senior retail leader with over 20 years’ industry experience and a strong track record of growing brands.
She joins BLG from THE ICONIC, Australia’s largest online-only fashion and lifestyle retailer, where she has been CEO since 2019 and has grown the business to over $700 million in net annual revenues.
Prior to THE ICONIC, Erica was Managing Director of Super Retail Group’s Rebel sporting goods division, which has 155 stores across Australia and New Zealand, where under her leadership revenues grew significantly to nearly $1 billion over seven years. Previously, 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.
A customer-focused and data-driven retailer, Erica brings deep experience across the retail value chain, from merchandising through to retail operations and digital and online development and execution. Her customer-first approach has consistently led to dramatic improvements in customer satisfaction and strong growth in revenues and profits.
Erica has received industry recognition throughout her career, including #3 in the Top 50 People in e-Commerce 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 join BLG on 4 September 2023 after serving out her notice period. Jason Murray will remain as Executive Chair until Erica joins, before returning to his role as Non-Executive Chair.