300 stores to close: Rivers, City Chic, Katies at risk

SPECIALTY Fashion Group - the company behind brands including Katies, Millers and Rivers - has been forced to close down more than 300 stores.

In an address to shareholders at the company's annual general meeting today, Chairwoman Anne McDonald said Specialty Fashion Group would shed 300 loss-making stores, The Australian reports.

The move comes amid declining sales and increased competition.

Speciality Fashion Group has a portfolio of 1,019 stores, across its brands Katies, Millers,  City Chic and Rivers.
Speciality Fashion Group has a portfolio of 1,019 stores, across its brands Katies, Millers, City Chic and Rivers.

"We are targeting an optimised store network of around 700 stores in 2020 compared to the current 1,000-plus stores," she said.

Specialty Fashion Group currently has a portfolio of 1,019 stores, across its brands Millers, Katies, City Chic and Rivers.

"We continue to pursue cost management initiatives and business simplification by integrating shared service functions into the brands. In the first quarter of the 2018 financial year, we have reduced costs by around $3.6 million through a leaner support office," Ms McDonald said.

The development comes after the company posted a full-year 2017 loss nearly quadruple the prior year to $8.39m, after a decision to exit its City Chic stores in the US triggered impairments.

CEO Gary Perlstein is stepping down after 14 years in the role.
CEO Gary Perlstein is stepping down after 14 years in the role.

CEO Gary Perlstein last week announced he would be stepping down after 14 years in the role. He told shareholders today that online sales now account for 10.4 per cent of total revenue, and online sales are continuing to increase across all brands.


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