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‘We were undertaking the development of a new proposition with a new team who had no previous experience of doing this. Dana has extensive knowledge, experience and a great track record and I thought she would be an ideal guide to the team, providing the right balance of challenge and support. I was right!’

Ian Bailey

Kmart was acquired in 2007 by Wesfarmers, who brought in a new management team to develop a vision to turn around this ailing Australian giant. Once the favorite general merchandise store, with the largest retail estate in Australia, it had lost significant market share.


I worked with an internal and external team to help shape and deliver the new customer proposition.
The themes of ‘on trend’ and getting great bargains were the high level challenges, but these were combined with a review of the more than 70 departments that make up a Kmart, to deliver the right space allocation and location in a logical customer focused layout.

A three-world format was developed (Kids, Clothing and Living) to group departments, and space was re-balanced to allow more space to Kids and Fashion. The operating model was simplified, with the grouping of service points and the location of departments with higher shrinkage in closer proximity to these. Utility costs were reduced by nearly a third through more efficient and effective lighting solutions.

The in store environment was simplified with a single floor finish and over 500 different fixtures solutions, and nearly as many signage elements, were removed. Areas were highlighted by visual merchandising and bold signage. The project was completed within budget and in one third less time on site than previous refits.
Customer reaction has been strongly positive with increased customer numbers, increased items per basket and double digit growth in sales in key categories of Home and Childrenswear.

After completion of the first two stores a detailed review of every component has been undertaken and new suppliers have been identified to further simplify and reduce the cost of rollout.

‘This was an extremely complex project, run over many months, involving many people from a wide range of disciplines. Dana’s ability to see all sides of the problem, combined with her unfailing enthusiasm, proved invaluable. I particularly appreciated her personal counsel throughout the process.’

Emmett Sheppard
General Manager
Business Development