Anxious wait for workers at fashion retailers

The employees of a handful of different fashion retailers in Dubbo are waiting to find out what the sale of their outlets will mean to them.

Earlier in the week it was reported that struggling retailer Specialty Fashion Group has sold its stable of mid-market brands – Millers, Katies, Rivers, Crossroads and Autograph – to rival group Noni B Group.

Dubbo has Millers and Katies outlets in Macquarie Street, while Rivers and Autograph share a location in Talbragar Street.

On Monday morning, Noni B was making no public comment, but a company spokesman said more information would come from executives.

The $31 million sale will leave only one brand in Specialty Fashion’s portfolio: City Chic, the successful plus-sized women’s apparel label.

Late in 2017, Specialty Fashion had announced it would close 300 stores would over a three-year period. 

The brands being sold ran at a combined $6.2 million loss in the 12 months to the end of December, while City Chic was on track for underlying earnings of $19 million to $20 million this financial year. 

Specialty Fashion ran at an $8 million loss in 2017.​

With the acquisition of the Specialty Assets, Noni B Group will become one of the largest specialty women’s apparel retailers in Australia, with a network of more than 1350 stores across nine brands, including Noni B Group’s existing brands, Noni B, Rockmans, W.Lane and BeMe.

Noni B Group’s total annual sales would almost treble to around $1.0 billion following the acquisition, based on calendar year 2017 figures, managing director and chief executive officer Scott Evans has said.

 “This is another exciting step forward for Noni B Group and represents the acquisition of five well-known and established, iconic Australian brands that are both complementary and highly synergistic to our existing portfolio,” he said.