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Former Coles and Dick Smith Exec To Head Up ALPA Retail

Former Coles and Dick Smith executive Michael Dykes has been appointed as the Arnhem Land Progress Aboriginal Corporation’s new general manager for retail.

CEO Alastair King announced the appointment earlier this week, saying “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.”

King praised Michael’s extensive retail experience and says he expects Dykes to bring fresh ideas and innovation to ALPA’s existing retail footprint.

“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,” he said.

First established in 1972, ALPA is a fully Indigenously-owned and financially independent corporation that employs 1300 staff and a chain of remote community stores.

Dykes himself says the new position, which will see him and his family relocate to Darwin, will present both a “lifestyle change” and offer a “breather from the corporate world”, as well the chance for “unique learning.”

According to him, “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.”

“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,” he says.