ALPA appoints retail high-flyer
August 3, 2017
Former Coles and Dick Smith executive Michael Dykes has swapped a high-flying corporate career spanning London, Dubai, and Sydney for the Top End where he will steer the retail arm of Australia’s largest Indigenous Corporation.
The Arnhem Land Progress Aboriginal Corporation (ALPA) Chief Executive Officer Alastair King announced the former Head of Format and Innovation for Coles had been appointed ALPA General Manager Retail.
“Retail is ALPA’s core business and the largest of the corporation’s four divisions giving Michael responsibility for the ALPA company stores, our consulting stores which we manage on behalf of other communities and the Island and Cape stores in Far North Queensland,” he said.
“In addition to managing the retail stores in remote Indigenous communities, his role oversees our online retail business which improves shopping options for remote communities, the retail technology division providing technical and shop fit-out assistance to remote retailers, and our retail procurement and buying, merchandising and marketing team.
“Michael’s extensive retail experience spanning 25 years
“Like many in ALPA he started as a young bloke on the shop floor, working his way through the ranks before moving into leadership positions in retail operations, strategy, marketing, innovation, design and IT across small, medium and large retailers across the country and the world.”
Mr Dykes’ success has stemmed from his passion for driving a retail culture where every team member thinks like the customer.
“Part of the reason I joined ALPA was because I wanted a breather from the corporate world and to get into something with a bit more purpose,” Mr Dykes said.
“Not-for-profit positions are missing from most executives’ CVs and are often added at the end of their career when, in my opinion, it is too late to influence the direction of a large corporate retailer.
“ALPA will be a huge change in how I approach retail, but I’m hungry for knowledge and this role will provide me with new and unique learning which is something I crave.
“I’m certain the experience I have gained from the world-class retailers I have worked for will be shared with this very talented retail team and, most importantly, I’m confident our customers and communities will feel the benefit.
“It is not just about putting products on the shelf to maximise sales. There’s a responsibility here that’s over and above profit.
“ALPA is about communities, about creating jobs and sustainable enterprise – that’s what is exciting about this opportunity and why I wanted to do it.
“This role will be a huge lifestyle change for me after working in London, Dubai, Sydney and Melbourne, but my whole family made the decision to move to Darwin after coming with me on the orientation trip.”
ALPA started in 1972 as an Arnhem Land co-operative of remote community stores. The fully Indigenous owned and financially independent corporation employs more than 1300 staff of which 85% are Indigenous people. Last year ALPA invested $16 million back into the communities where it operates.