Supre GM Jodie Bongetti talks about the opportunities and challenges in helming an iconic Australian retailer.
What is your previous experience in the industry?
I started my retail career as a casual in Katies. Since then I’ve been fortunate enough to have worked for some of Australia’s biggest brand names including Sportsgirl, Sussan and Forever New before joining the Cotton On Group team. As my career progressed, I worked my way from retail manager to national manager and now Supré general manager. Along the way I’ve gained a truly grass roots understanding of the retail landscape and an appreciation for the challenges our retail teams face on the store floor.
What is your day to day role?
As GM of Supré, I am responsible for leading and developing teams. I take a hands-on approach to leadership and thrive on being in-stores, understanding our customers, sharing knowledge and motivating our teams to be ever better.
My role is to drive the Supré vision, at every touchpoint. ‘We believe in the power of girls’ is more than a sign at our door, it is in everything the brand stands for and importantly, seen in our actions. We are firmly committed to building and developing our girl gang and my role is to ensure as a brand we are working towards this every day.
What is the biggest challenge in your position?
Keeping up with our girl. Our customer is predominantly a Gen Z girl and she is used to accessing information and fashion wherever and whenever she likes, with a fast turnaround and extraordinary customer experience. So, it’s not just about great product, it’s about delivering her the best product, advice, knowledge, inspiration and experience, seamlessly and in line with the ever-changing retail landscape, whether its bricks and mortar, online or marketplaces.
What is the most rewarding aspect?
I have been blessed to have learnt from some incredibly talented people in this industry and I feel strongly about the opportunity I now have, to give back. Retail is often a girl’s very first experience into the workforce, and ultimately a really important step in her future career. Seeing the growth and development of our teams and working with them to help guide that growth makes me incredibly proud.
I am also part of an RMIT program which enables me to mentor the future leaders of retail. Participants partner on product, VM and marketing, culminating in their presentation of a 20 piece capsule collection back to us. As a brand we have a powerful voice and it is wonderfully rewarding to play a part in using that voice to create positive change.
What is an initiative you are most proud of?
I am incredibly proud of the work Supré Foundation does in empowering girls globally. Witnessing our team’s extraordinary passion and commitment in helping girls around the world is inspiring and heartwarming.
In particular, the recent launch of the Image Based Bullying. So Not Ok. initiative which tackles the fact that 1 in 5 young women have been impacted by Image Based Bullying, with often devastating results.
As a mum of a young girl, contributing to positive change for future generations is a cause close to my heart.
What do you see as the biggest change ahead for the company?
The retail industry has been built on built on bricks and mortar but the landscape has changed dramatically thanks to rapid movements in technology.
Our girl’s store front now encompasses online, social and marketplaces so moving forward we need to be able to show up seamlessly and consistently across all of these channels. Retail is about delivering a true omni channel approach so our Gen Z girl can shop in her way, her time and with the most memorable experience.