Aussie bag manufacturer Crumpler has agreed to a tie-up with apparel brand Tigerlily that will see the companies share office and warehouse space while remaining “independent” from one another.
The resource sharing deal comes amid the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the already beleaguered apparel and accessories sector, with both businesses hoping to slash their cost bases by working together.
“This shared approach will allow both brands to streamline costs and create more robust financial efficiencies, particularly in light of the unfolding COVID-19 impact on the retail sector,” Crumpler chief executive Adam Wilkinson said in a statement.
Both businesses will share IT systems, warehouse and office space, although no specifics as to how the partnership will work were available on Wednesday.
The tie-up comes just weeks after Tigerlily emerged from voluntary administration, after being handed back to its private equity owner Crescent Partners when creditors spurned a range of third-party suitors.
The coronavirus outbreak has sent retail businesses across the category through the ringer, with longstanding swimwear business Seafolly collapsing into administration earlier this week, following others such as Review owner PAS Group.
Wilkinson stressed the companies will remain “independent” with their own aesthetic, individual designs, marketing and customer support teams.
“We are pleased to support another iconic Australian brand, Tigerlily, in its pursuit to retain its business and loyal customer base throughout this challenging time,” Wilkinson said.
Needless to say, this is unlikely to be the only resource sharing arrangement that emerges from the retail sector over the next six months as businesses come to terms with a forthcoming recession.
Clothing, footwear and personal accessories retail plummeted 64% year-on-year in April, bouncing slightly in May but still falling by about 20%, according to data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.