CEO Q&A: Maryanne Shearer

Published 15 November 2012 04:45, Updated 30 November 2012 04:57

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1. What was your first job?

I worked in Coles variety store, unpacking stock on Friday nights and was then promoted to the delicatessen. It taught me that money doesn’t grow on trees and you have to work really hard for it.

2. What is the best deal you’ve ever made?

Signing our first shopping centre lease. At the time it was incredibly nerve racking as you just don’t know if your concept is going to work in a shopping centre. Taking this risk paid off as it meant we had the mass appeal we were hoping for. Today we have 37 stores across Australia and most of those are in shopping centres.

3. And the worst? What did you learn?

After some early success, our ego was a little boosted and we felt we could put a store anywhere and the customer would come … that was not the case. We did have to close two stores and suffer significant financial loss. We learnt to walk before you run when starting up a new business.

4. What’s your favourite gadget?

My iPhone; sadly, it runs my life. I don’t see this as a lifetime addiction but for now it’s fabulous because everything is in the palm of my hand.

5. What’s your top time-saving tip?

Never be late and be incredibly organised. During a working day (with kids at school) there is no room for surprises or people with no respect for other people’s time.

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