The Fashion Victims of Australian Retail

It’s been something of a cold, dark summer for Australian fashion retail.

Several big industry players have fallen on their sword and called in the administrators in the face of a consistently tough retail environment. Major names Marcs and David Lawrence collapsed under millions of dollars of debt at the start of the month.

Just before Christmas, several local kidswear brands raised the white flag. Now, Herringbone—which had a near-death experience in the wake of the global financial crisis before being snapped up by German company Van Laack—this week emerged as the latest retail fashion victim, taking its premium suiting brand Rhodes & Beckett down with it. They’re the latest local brands to fall in the retail space, but analysts fear they won’t be the last.

Without doubt, retail is a tough game, one made all the tougher in the last decade or so with the rise of online shopping, giving shoppers less incentive to visit stores. And as if e-tail hadn’t made life difficult enough by tempting Australians to exotic international brands they previously couldn’t access, many of those global brands have recently brought the fight for shoppers into our high streets.

Don’t get us wrong. We love our Zara, H&M and Uniqlo as much as the next person… but the retail landscape is all the poorer for every unique Aussie logo that disappears.

It’s all very well to lament the loss of Aussie names like Dick Smith and Ford Falcon, but if you’re parking your VW Golf out the front of IKEA it’s kind of easy to see why—brands need buyers (and the right products to draw them in). While mighty brands may fall, there is light… there are many incredible local labels doing amazing things, finding a niche to co-exist with our favourite international brands. They deserve our support—who knows, perhaps one day they’ll become the next much-loved Australian icon?

Hug your favourite Aussie retailer today. And support the local brands you love by actually buying their stuff. Otherwise they may not be there tomorrow.

About raraPR

raraPR is an Australian public relations, digital marketing and branding agency. We are PR mentors, brand boosters and community creators for business owners, industry leaders and entrepreneurs. What we do goes far beyond the typical PR agency.

Our Ethos
We’re a passionate team who thrive on creating content that works. Or in other words, tasteful brand assets that build equity for a business.
We’re driven by the purpose, the meaning and the stories behind why a business exists as much as the quality of the product or service.
We’re inspired by being around the start-up community, entrepreneurs, intrepreneurs, solopreneurs, creators, makers, thought-leaders, dreamers and seekers willing to go beyond the good for the truly great.
The desire to help people take their business to the next level and reach their potential drives everything we do.
We get excited about producing innovative and thoughtful PR, digital, social media and design outcomes.
We’re at our natural best when we’re connecting talent and bringing communities together inside and outside the company.
We collaborate and become a seamless extension of our clients’ team.
We see, listen, mentor, educate, inspire, support, direct, provide clarity and instil confidence within our team andour community.
We care about providing value, which is the fundamental centrepiece of what we do.
We’re all about honesty and integrity, authenticity and transparency. That’s how we roll.