Finance

Josh Goot up for sale: Who will scoop up the $3 million fashion house?

Kirsten Robb /

Australian fashion model Jessica Gomes in a Josh Goot outfit

Australian fashion designer Josh Goot’s eponymous label is up for grabs, after it collapsed into voluntary administration earlier this month.

An advertisement in today’s Australian Financial Review indicates administrators are seeking expressions of interest for the business and assets of the Josh Goot label.

The sale will include the trademarks and goodwill of the established brand; the website and online store; and the finished goods, raw materials, plant and equipment located in New South and Victoria.

The business, which had a turnover of $3 million in the 2014 financial year, was established by Goot in 2008 and has gone on to become one of Australia’s top fashion labels with standalone retail outlets in Paddington NSW and Armadale VIC.

The label has celebrity fans including Kim Kardashian and Lara Bingle, and is also stocked at David Jones.

Michael Smith and Peter Hillig of Smith Hancock were appointed administrators on February 2, with Goot saying at the time the aim of the administration was to “restructure to protect the long-term interests of the brand and all involved”.

A spokesperson for Goot this morning told SmartCompany the business is working with the administrators and “exploring all options to protect the business and its key stakeholders including creditors, staff and customers”.

The spokesperson confirmed both stores are still trading and says the business is focusing on delivering the label’s next season.

“Beyond that, it’s too early to make any further comment,” says the spokesperson.

Brian Walker, chief executive of the Retail Doctor Group, told SmartCompany while Josh Goot may still be looking at a restructure, today’s advertisement indicates administrators are at least garnering interest in the label.

Walker says at this point any guess as to who will scoop up the label is pure speculation but he believes the most likely buyer would be from the big end of town.

“I imagine it will be a larger business, if they are interested,” Walker says.

He says the most likely buyers would be David Jones, who could do what Myer did when they acquired Sass & Bide, or successful high end street fashion labels like Saba.

“The fashion design industry is pretty fragmented. The question is would a smaller player take up another similar player?  I think that’s highly unlikely,” Walker says.

The last 12 months has seen the collapse of high-end Australian fashion retailers including designer Lisa Ho and online retailer Mynetsale.com.au.

Walker says there has been increased competition with mid-market international players like Cos and Topshop entering the market affecting higher end players, as well as the continued effect of cautious consumer spending.

“We need to look at why [Goot] is in this position though,” Walker says.

“Because they haven’t converted enough sales. That’s the interesting thing about fashion, is how do you make it pay? It’s fine to have a great designer, but a buyer will ask, how can we convert them?”

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Kirsten Robb

Kirsten Robb is a former journalist at SmartCompany. Previously, she worked at News Corp as a property reporter for Leader Newspapers and the Herald Sun, and holds a Masters of Journalism at Melbourne University.

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