Salvos Stores CEO Matt Davis was a typical Aussie kid who loved sport, music and the beach, and discovered he had a passion for helping others.
What kind of background did you grow up in?
It was normal in my family to be involved in our community, to give back and to do the right thing. Going to church was part of this routine and, while I didn’t realise it at the time, a strong sense of looking after ‘others’ in our community was forming.
I had early dreams of a career in the legal and finance fields which saw me moving from high school straight to university. That’s when I began to discover my love of working alongside people and being about purpose. This journey took me from a brief stint as tax accountant into retail and later into the not-for-profit sector.
What do you love about your role as CEO of Salvo Stores?
I’ve been very blessed to now find myself in a place where God’s purpose and my passion meet here at Salvos Stores. It truly is an incredible team and we get to make a difference every day. If you come and chat to any of our amazing volunteers some time, you’ll know what I mean!
You have been in the role for two and a half years now—what advances do you feel you have made in that time?
The team has been focused on really getting behind The Salvation Army’s vision to positively impact hardship and injustice, and finding better ways to help our customers and donors be part of that aim.
We’ve tackled the customer pain point of prices that seem too high, made our website and loyalty card far easier to use and introduced gift cards at long last!
We’ve even dropped the 25 cents off our price tags which was a real bugbear for many customers. It might seem simple but doing the right thing by our customers and donors means that we all can do the right thing in helping those who need it most.
I’m proud to say that we have risen to the challenge and have attracted record customer numbers and funds raised for vital programs.
In 2016 you said you would love to have Salvos Stores partnering more on major projects like the Red Shield Appeal—how has that panned out?
Feedback from many of our stakeholders is telling us that Salvos Stores is now partnering more effectively in supporting The Salvation Army’s mission. And 2018 was the first year all Salvos Stores locations around Australia joined together in supporting the annual Red Shield Appeal, with team engagement and funds raised reaching new heights.
What other activities are Salvos Stores involved in?
We’ve had lots of fun together hosting community events such as fashion parades, ‘upcyling’ activities, spiritual discussion groups, coffee carts, BBQs, community pantries and even trivia nights all over the country.
Providing safe community spaces is a huge social issue and Salvos Stores are proving a great way for people to bring their passion for recycling, sustainability and social inclusion to life.
What are your future goals?
I want to make a lasting contribution to those suffering hardship and injustice. During this season I hope to offer Australians through Salvos Stores the best retail experience in raising sustainable funds, quality relationships with team members who are thriving, and an opportunity to regularly get involved in the local community at every one of our 300-plus stores around the country. This means we’ve got lots of work to do!
Next on our agenda is to move towards a consistently great experience of Salvos Stores wherever you go, becoming a lot more convenient to deal with (online and offline!) and most importantly helping our team and our customers know why we do what we do.