Thu, 18 Jul 2019

SYDNEY, Australia - Countless fashion brands have collapsed in Australia in recent times. Local brands in the fashion industry are continuing to struggle.

Cory Littke, the Perth manager of the Roger David store, part of a chain which have been the go-to shops in Australia for menswear says the weather is often blamed, with staff claiming that it keeps customers away. When it's rainy, clients aren't usually out and about, whereas when it's sunny, people try not to stay inside.

But the actual problem actually runs much deeper, said Littke. With sale promotions stretching for weeks and even months and local brands losing over 60 customers a week, the sector really is experiencing stress.

"We were losing up to 60 customers a week," Mr Littke told the BBC.

But by the end of last year, the heritage Roger David brand had closed down 57 of its stores. Many other high-end retails were affected. Some went up for sale while some got rescued by bigger players. Unfortunately, some shut down for good, ending their sometimes-long histories in liquidation.

Some of the major brands top go include David Lawrence, Marcs, Rhodes & Beckett, Herringbone, Topshop and Topman Australia, Oroton, Maggie T, Diana Ferrari, Gap Australia, Esprit Australia, Avon Australia, Metalicus, Toys R Us, Shoes of Prey, Roger David, Laura Ashley, Ed Harry, Crabtree and Evelyn Australia.

The advent of global competitors is actually the main cause, with H&M, Zara, and Uniqlo expanding their foothold in the country. Local traders can hardly compete with the range and quick turnaround of these foreign brands. Plus, online sales are starting to dominate the retail spending of the market.

Unfortunately, many Australian fashion brands struggle to adapt to the digital shift. Those who do not swiftly move online find it impossible to compete. Apparently, shifting online offers both challenge and growth.

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