Global Retail Advisor

"It's an understatement to say the new customer is more complex. Today's customer's have so much more freedom of choice and if they're not happy, they will vote with their feet."


Paul Zahra is a Global Retail Advisor, guiding Boards and Companies in areas including retail (both traditional and startups), leadership, transformational change and diversity.

Paul has been a leading force in the Australian Retail Industry for over 30 years, most recently as Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of Australia’s premium department store, David Jones.

Under Paul’s stewardship, David Jones evolved from a traditional bricks and mortar retailer to a contemporary Omni Channel Retailer, resulting in the Company’s average online order rising to three times the value of the average in-store transaction.

Beyond omni-channel Paul pioneered the Village Format Store, a revolutionary new stores format which introduced edited versions of a full line David Jones department store with a focus on high margin categories such as Fashion and Beauty.  Under The Next Generation concept, Paul also introduced new store features such as digital charging stations, complimentary customer Wi-Fi, interactive tweet mirrors, customer dwelling areas along with dedicated in-store areas to purchase merchandise online and to collect online purchases in-store.The instore experience also saw a complete re-invigoration under Paul’s direction, with the replacement of the entire ‘Point of Sale System’ as well as more physical fashion and service concepts such as Bridal at David Jones, Personal Shopping Suites, Gift Gurus, and Style Advisors.

Paul is credited for leading the digital transformation of one of the oldest department stores in the world achieving market-leading momentum, resulting in financial stability for the business during the worst retail conditions in 25 years.