Following yesterday’s news that Nick Elgin was trading in his Bleak City digs at The Good Guys for a turn across the Tasman with Kitchen Things, I visited with the retail management expert to find out what is motivating this change and how his experience will benefit his new employer.
I started by asking the obvious question: is he happy to be moving back to his native New Zealand?
“I am thrilled at the opportunity to join Kitchen Things
and support the growth of the Jones Family Business,” Elgin told me. “My dealings with the New Zealand retail industry in the last five years have given me huge respect for Mark and Rachel’s (Kitchen Things) business ethos and their strong family values, for which I see natural alignment.
“On a personal level, my family and I are super excited to be relocating. New Zealand is the most beautiful country with the friendliest people and I am very proud to bring my family back to my home country.”
Elgin credited The Good Guys organisation for teaching him the science of retail. While working at the Melbourne-based head office of the national chain, he learned about buying habits, inventory management and how to always place the consumer the forefront of each decision. Importantly, he also learned the most important lesson in modern business: if you are only standing still, you actually falling behind.
“There is no room for complacency and change is constant: if your brand is standing still, it is most likely dying.”
Moving to a smaller market does not mean Elgin will be having an easy time. While largely very similar, the Australian and the New Zealander are still different, and not just in the colour of their World Cup Cricket pajamas.
“My key challenge will be meeting and exceeding the needs of the Kiwi consumer. I plan to tackle this head on with best practice sales associates managing the customer journey.
“With the advances in digital and online marketing and social media, consumers are better informed and researched than ever and have such breadth of choice. We need to focus on successful management of the brands, both quantity and quality, pre- and post-sale.”