Australian fashion retailer Noni B will add five more brands to its stable after purchasing a range of imprints from rival Specialty Fashion Group for $31 million.
Noni B has been able to execute a strong company turnaround over the past year, announcing in February it had increased its half-year net profit after tax by close to 380% compared with a year ago, coming out ahead by $11.8 million.
Specialty Fashion Group, on the other hand, had spent the first part of this year conducting a structural review of its brand portfolio, which included Millers, Katies, Crossroads, Autograph, Rivers and City Chic.
In March, Specialty Fashion Group bought the collapsed Maggie T brand, with an intention to roll this out through Millers stores.
However, after sealing a deal with Noni B, Specialty Fashion will now hand Millers off to Noni B, as well as selling the Rivers, Crossroads, Katies and Autograph brands. The deal will boost Noni B’s store network to more than 1,350 stores.
Specialty Fashion will retain its strongest brand, City Chic.
This is the second significant brand portfolio purchase Noni B has made over the past three years; in 2016, it bought the James Packer-owned ‘Pretty Girl’ brand stable for $75 million, bringing the Rockmans, Table Eight, beme and W. Lane brands on board.
Earlier this year, retail expert David Gordon told SmartCompany one of the challenges for the retail group going forward will be maintaining the individual brand identities of all of its holdings.
Chief executive Scott Evans is optimistic about the challenge, telling shareholders in a statement yesterday that by buying more brands, the company is in an even better position to become “one of the pre-eminent women’s fashion retailers in Australia”.