Following the successful introduction of Country Road and Trenery to South Africa, Woolworths will exclusively offer the iconic Australian brands Witchery and Mimco from March 2014. This means Woolworths will have even more up-to-the-minute, on-trend fashion and accessories to offer South African women.
In October 2012 a Woolworths subsidiary, Country Road Limited, acquired the Witchery Group, including the Witchery and Mimco retail brands. Initially, Woolworths will offer Witchery’s women’s apparel, footwear, and accessory collections, as well as Mimco’s unique accessories and footwear.
As one of the most inspiring of Australia’s big fashion brands, Witchery is a global style authority loved by Australians and New Zealanders since the 1970s. Ahead of the curve, Witchery’s fashion radar casts a worldwide eye, delivering feminine, fashion-forward collections that capture the latest ready-to-wear runway trends.
“The Witchery woman adores fashion and loves to put her own spin on the latest trends to make a stylish, personalised statement. She looks to Witchery for pieces that are fresh, glamorous, edgy and wearable that can take her from day to night, and from work to a party,” says Witchery’s Managing Director, Matt Keogh.
“Our partnership with Woolworths will be instrumental in taking this brand to the next level in South Africa, including the opening of standalone Witchery stores,” explains Keogh.
As an iconic Australian accessories brand, Mimco is at the forefront of delivering accessible luxury with its quirky designs and statement pieces. It celebrates unique design, eclectic styling, quality and collectability. The brand will offer leather and non-leather handbags, evening bags, wallets, tech accessories, footwear, jewellery, timepieces and hair accessories.
Each season, Mimco’s design team creates limited edition pieces to push the boundaries with creative design, materials and styling that offer customers rare and dynamic pieces. These personality-filled pieces will also be available locally.
“Since 1996, we have designed beautiful pieces for women who love to add a touch of glamour to their every day and who understand the value that a unique accessory adds to their wardrobe,” says Mimco’s Managing Director Cathryn Wills. “It’s an exciting time in the Mimco journey and we look forward to offering Woolworths customers the opportunity to discover, explore, and fall in love with our brand.”
Says Woolworths CEO Ian Moir, “Both Witchery and Mimco are strong brands with their own clearly defined points of view. We believe that they will help cement our place as a leading fashion destination and resonate with the South African woman who is looking for fashion that reflects the latest international trends and her own personal sense of style.”
In addition to standalone stores at the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town and at Hyde Park in Johannesburg, Witchery will be available at Woolworths V&A Waterfront, Cavendish Square and Tygervalley in Cape Town, Gateway in Durban, and Menlyn, Brooklyn, Eastgate, Sandton, and Melrose Arch in Johannesburg.
Mimco will have standalone stores at the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town and at Sandton and Hyde Park in Johannesburg, and will be available at Woolworths V&A Waterfront and Cavendish Square in Cape Town, Gateway in Durban, and Eastgate and Sandton in Johannesburg.
Witchery and Mimco will launch in stores from 25 to 27 March 2014.
Australia's specialist apparel retail market is currently estimated at around A$12.1 billion. The country provides an ideal retail apparel demographic with approximately 52% of the population aged between 29-64, and a total population expected to grow from 23 million to 35 million by 2050. Australia's apparel market is currently at a cyclical low, providing an ideal opportunity for Country Road to consolidate its position ahead of the expected economic recovery.
The acquisition of the Witchery Group by Country Road creates one of Australia’s largest speciality fashion retailers with complementary brands and a strong position in the mid to upper tier specialist retail sector. The acquisition delivers an attractive portfolio of owned brands, greater scale, diversified revenue streams and industry leading margins, and is expected to deliver synergies of approximately A$15 million on an annualised basis, to be achieved over four years.
The Witchery Group consists of two complementary brands, Witchery and Mimco. Witchery is one of Australia’s leading fashion brands offering women’s, men’s and kids’ apparel and accessories. With over 40 years of trading, it operates through over 190 stores and concessions in Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. Mimco is a leading Australian designer accessories brand offering accessible luxury with a touch of quirk. With an established brand in bags, jewellery and other statement pieces, it has expanded into shoes, sunglasses and watches. Founded in 1996, it operates through 96 stores and concessions in Australia and New Zealand.
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