Oct 29, 2012

Rich Lister Jan Cameron’s big retail misadventure

Jan Cameron seems to have tried to run her discount retail empire like a side project. It’s been a terrible mistake. How could she have made such a big one?

At least Jan Cameron isn’t hiding from the collapse of Retail Adventures, her national empire of discount retail chains.

“This will keep me off the Rich List, let’s put it that way,” she told The Australian in what is an extraordinarily frank account of the collapse. “I have often referred to this company as retail nightmares or retail misadventures.

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6 thoughts on “Rich Lister Jan Cameron’s big retail misadventure

  1. zut alors

    Cameron’s comments are refreshingly candid. Remind me of the last time a CEO copped the blame without the usual ducking and weaving.

  2. Buddy

    I agree ziut… Refreshing honest and frank. Good luck to her I say

  3. Shaniq'ua Chardonnay

    I agree. Nice to see an upfront honest CEO

  4. Madonna

    James you asked :But how can a Rich List retailer, arguably one of the best in the country, make a mistake like that?
    Geez.. maybe she’s human after all! This is an opportunity to learn and do things differently.

    In my view,Jan Cameron is a marvelous business woman and role model for animal welfare and has the fortitude to turn things around…

  5. tim Inman

    For Jan to sit up in her tower and lay blame for her own inaction is rediculous. She had crediable teams that were willing to help her get this company to the number one spot. She herself ignored the advice. To say that the GFC had something to do with it is simply passing the BUCK. History does not lie. The original Clark’s Brothers started during the recession we had to have and built their empire quickly during the early nighties. And ask yourself! why is it that the younger brother has been expanding his buisness in the same market sector using the formula his brother started some 25 years ago. NO Jan don’t point fingers when most who worked their asses off to grow your business only to have you TEXT them your disappointment. Maybe if you cultured support as apposed to degredation of a persons spirt and love for retail; you’d have your 400+ profitable stores. By the way many of your senior managers where informing you of the poor performing stores 18 months ago. You were to busy saving the Tasmanian trees and putting people out of work down there! maybe you should start seeing the value in people.

  6. Tim Wood

    Well put Tim. It’s interesting that she comments on the companies “diabolical” culture. The culture at the company really declined once she joined. She arrogantly steered the business away from it’s core market, despite the advice of those that were in the buiness when it was succeeding. She put in place a team of her cronies and head hunters who set about undermining the current management structure and quietly removing those that didn’t obediantly comply.
    Then when sales plummeted, she blamed everyone with the exception of herself for the businesses poor performance?
    Yes, how brave of her to now concede she made mistakes and take responsibility. I’m sure it is cold comfort for those hundreds of people without a job as doors close around the nation.
    It’s interesting that her competitors in the same sector have enjoyed very profitable results and increased comp sales over her period of decline. What a marvelous business woman….

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