The ICONIC Appoints Former Super Retail Group MD as CEO

April Davis By April Davis | 29 Oct 2018

The ICONIC announced the appointment of its new CEO on Monday morning, with Erica Berchtold set to take the reins of the online fashion giant early next year.

Global Fashion Group has appointed Berchtold as The ICONIC’s new CEO, as the company continues to reach for its maiden profit. Berchtold is expected to step into her new role in February 2019, as current CEO, Patrick Schmidt becomes The ICONIC’s Chairman of the Board.
“We are thrilled to welcome Erica to The ICONIC team after an extensive global search to appoint our new CEO,” Schmidt said.
Berchtold has 20 years of experience as a retail professional, serving as Super Retail Group’s managing director for seven years. According to The ICONIC, Berchtold was instrumental in scaling the level of consumer engagement at Super Retail Group, especially with its Rebel Sport Brand. Before working for the sporting retailer, she was the general manager for two of Specialty Fashion Group’s former brands, Crossroads and Autograph.
“I am absolutely honoured to be joining The ICONIC, the most dynamic, fastest growing fashion retailer across Australia and New Zealand. With a laser focus on customer experience, the team has done an amazing job evolving the brand and it will be fantastic working for them to take the business to even greater heights,” Berchtold said.
“I’m humbled to be given this opportunity, accept it with two-hands and can’t wait to get started.”
According to Schmidt, Berchtold is joining the company at an exciting, yet crucial stage in the business’s development.
“The ICONIC is now serving millions of customers every year and although we’ve achieved great success to date, we’re only just getting started,” he said.
“Under Erica’s guidance, The ICONIC will continue to thrive as it designs the future of fashion retail across Australia and New Zealand, liberating its customers with a seamless and inspiring shopping experience. I’m delighted to support Erica and The ICONIC team.”
Schmidt has served at The ICONIC’s CEO since 2013, and in that time he has spearheaded a number of initiatives, including developing partnerships with key Australian brands like Cotton On and trialling one-hour delivery at this year’s Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week.
However, despite reaching a number of milestones, The ICONIC is still yet to reach profitability in the seven years since its inception. Back in May, the pureplay fashion retailer filed its sixth consecutive loss, accumulating losses to the sum of $152 million over its lifespan. However, with heavy investments being made in the multi-billion dollar clothing and accessories market, Schmidt is hopeful the business will make a profit this year. In the next three years, the company hopes to hit the $1 billion mark.
“We quadrupled our sales in the last three years,” Schmidt said at the time of the filing.
While Schmidt admits growth has been difficult, he is pleased with the company’s ability to meet customer needs, creating brand loyalty in the process.
“We have very loyal and very happy customers. That means a lot of repeat purchases, and we have recommendations from people who shop with us to people who haven’t shopped with us,” he said.
The ICONIC attributes its stronger financial outlook to heavy investments from the last few years, including a new automated distribution and fulfilment centre and the development of its online marketplace for third-party sellers.
According to Schmidt, a further $100 million will be invested over the next five years, so the company can continue to improve logistics, hire more staff and increase the automation capabilities of its fulfilment centre.
Schmidt will continue to serve as CEO of The ICONIC until Berchtold commences her new position in February 2019.
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