By James Wells
MELBOURNE: Sampford IXL general manager – sales, Mark Tragear, resigned yesterday after 12 years with the company to work for Clive Peeters for the third time in his career as national retail operations manager commencing Monday 6 August.
Tragear told Current.com.au that he will leave recently merged company Sampford IXL – consisting of Sampford & Staff and IXL Appliances – this Friday.
“It is just under 12 years and my heart is very heavy but sometimes there comes a time,” Tragear told Current.com.au this afternoon.
“My primary role [at Clive Peeters] will be to analyse the mix of products sold to ensure it is within the company’s direction and maximise the profit opportunities through the buying department. I will work at the same level as Chris Gerdes who manages the buying and I will manage the sell-through as well as strategic work through the Narta group,” Tragear said.
“Working with Sampfords is probably one of the best experiences I could have had as it has given me a great grounding and I probably wouldn’t have been given the opportunity at Clive Peeters without working here.
“I bring the benefit of wholesale and retail backgrounds, which few have got in this industry. I have existing relationships with a lot of the Clive Peeters people from my early tenure and I know a lot of store managers and already deal with Chris Gerdes and Ross Whitehead, and I have a great rapport with Rick Hart and Peter Lord.”
Sampford IXL managing director, Paul Bridgeford, told Current he fondly remembers the time he has worked with Tragear.
“We are leaving on very good terms and it is sad to see him go. Mark has had a huge contribution to our business growth. We have had our moments where we have disagreed on things, but always passionately, and I wish him very well with Clive Peeters,” Bridgeford said.
“This is my third stint at Clive Peeters,” Tragear said.
“I worked for Clive Savage when he owned the business in the early 1980s and sold it to Kelly Maxwells. I remember that Kelly Maxwells mixed the staff around there was a culture clash as staff working in specialist roles and those familiar with a bulk store environment. It was the worst decision they could have made and their turnover dropped significantly. There were eight stores back then and I worked in five of them.
“I then left and went to work for Greg Jones Furniture in Ringwood after I sold him a fridge and he offered me a job. After a couple of years there I went to work for myself with the Keating Appliance Business in conjunction with the manufacturer – John Keating.
“During this time, Clive Savage re-registered the Clive Peeters name and re-leased the Ringwood store, which was trading as Maxwell’s seconds store. I went back to work with Clive Savage before he sold the business to Greg Smith and helped teach my mate Bruce Coulson how to sell cooking appliances. I then worked for Michael’s of Brighton for a couple years selling specialty kitchen appliances at retail.
“I was then offered the national product manager role for Gaggenau and Jenn-Air at Sampford & Staff in November 1996 by current managing director, Paul Bridgeford. I then progressed form there to the position of general sales manager three years ago.”