Iconic mature fashion retailer says they want to shed older woman image

Walk past a Katies shop in any shopping centre in the last year and you may have noticed a big
via Greensborough Plaza

Walk past a Katies shop in any shopping centre in the last year and you may have noticed a big difference – instead of the mature models they have used for decades, the store is covered in images of young 20-something women. It’s not just you: the iconic women’s retail chain has confirmed they are rebranding themselves, potentially shunning thousands of mature shoppers in the process.

Katies was known for being a mid-range shop for women over 40, and no doubt many reading this now will have a pair of pants or a top from Katies.

This week, 60-year-old Katies debuted their new LUXE range, and became the new competitor to Country Road and Zara – brands that are for the younger woman.

At the Katies LUXE Lunch at Chiswick, the brand showed off the collection to the fashion industry who had previously written them off as an older woman’s shop.

“Luxury can be for every day,” Katies’ brand director, Sonia Miller, told Fairfax Media.

“We actually have no real age bracket in mind [for the Luxe collections],” Ms Miller said, despite young models walking down the runway in the new range.

“We are trying to reintroduce the brand to those who might have thought it was dated and not for them. For those who might have thought, ‘oh, my mum used to shop there,’ so it’s not for me”.

The idea is to change the perception of Katies, said Ms Miller.

“Everyone loves to spoil themselves,” Miller said. “But some women don’t have extravagant budgets. It’s not for the high-flying executives. It’s for real women with real jobs.

“It’s for the woman who wants to keep it real. This collection is about things they can wear. They want clothes that make them feel good and confident”.

She also confirmed a new store design and a logo update were coming soon.

“For us it is step one on a really long journey and we are moving in the right direction,” Miller added.

Would you agree? Or has Katies lost your loyalty?

  1. I had absolutely NO idea that Katies was for “the mature aged” woman! I have always been able to find lovely, wearable clothes there since I was a teenager – you learn something every day!

    • Rhonda  

      Neither did I! They always carried a broad range, part of the attraction!

    • cee  

      When my oldest daughter was in her mid teens, about 27 years ago, I got her a Katies card so she could buy something nice each month to wear to work… It was only for the young back then..
      I have never, ever known Katies to be for the mature woman!

  2. Disey  

    I’ve bought a lot of clothing from Katies over the years and had no idea of their catering to the “mature aged woman”. Admitedly, I could not say where my nearest Katies store is.

  3. Perla Knights  

    Like Ally and Rhonda I too had no idea that Katies was meant to be for the more mature woman! I have shopped there since a teenager and no, they have not lost my loyalty. It just depends on the clothing they come up with in their “new life”. Good luck Katies. Another Australian institution.

  4. Helen R. Chalson  

    I shop at Katie’s all the time.
    The clothes are not ageist. If they suit you wear them.
    Price is right. Lovely colours & styles.

  5. Can anyone tell me where a storefront Kaies is located. It is online but I haven’t seen a physical store for years in Sydney.

    • Ruth Stevenson  

      There is one at Westfield Penrith

  6. It is not just Katies, but there are so many fashion shops for the young people but so little for the mature women, we just cannot wear what the young ones do without looking like mutton dressed up as lamb, although some try and look absolutely ridiculous.
    I went into a Katie,s in Adelaide yesterday and I thought the clothes were very rubbishy, black Pepper and Noni B are so expensive where do we go, any suggestions for Adelaide not Millers.

    • Well, there you go – both NoniB and Black Pepper do NOT appeal to me, because their fashions seem to be for the “more mature”!

    • Jane Fisher  

      Hi, I’m not sure if you have any Black Pepper outlets in Adelaide, we have several here in Melbourne, and suburbs. They are so much cheaper than the shops, I must say I have a lot of things in my wardrobe from there, being a size 12 I can often puck up samples for very little money. I got a lovely Spring weight trench coat recently for $10.

  7. Lorraine  

    If they start selling clothes that are not ‘right’ for me Young business wear is not for me, but please don’t put me into twin sets yet. Still got years and the money to buy middle of the Road. If they are calling cashed up baby boomers Mature (another word for old) they are so so wrong. Where did not idea come from anyway?????!! Can see the store going downhill fast and in 5-10 years lost to Australia. U

  8. facebook_elda.quinton  

    They’ve been catering to the young crowd for years. I stopped buying there years ago when I couldn’t find anything suitable……..the stores near me anyway.

    • Carol Ferguson  

      Have to agree with you.they lost me about a decade ago. Mainly because their clothes got cheaper in quality but the prices went up. I don’t bother looking at Katie’s these days as they do cater for the younger woman. (I’m 63)

  9. I agree with these ladies comments, I had no idea Katies was for “mature women”. I have outfits from them I’ve had for years and still wear! Now I am a mature woman, does this mean I wont like what they have to offer?

  10. Lin  

    When will a store realise that older women need a trendy store to cater for their needs. Not clothes that are far too short and skimpy. Older women find it difficult to find suitable clothing that is stylish. Millers is just SO old fashioned and poor quality and there seems to be little in between.

    • Loraines  

      I disagree. Some of Millers range is a bit cheap and not long lasting but if you shop carefully, you can find lovely items there. I’ve been to Katie’s recently and not seen anything I like. I’m 50

  11. MizHelen  

    Try looking for Tall fashion clothing for Mother of the Groom, and you find nearly all the models are anorexic looking girls who do not qualify as that age bracket.
    I find Millers stores very middle of the road in Australia, but in NZ are fabulous.
    It depends on where the Katies store is situated, and the age demographic of the area, as to their stock.

    • Jenny  

      Yes, the Katies in my area seems to cater for anyone on the large side! As I am quite small, I haven’t shopped there for years!

  12. moira  

    I think it is an ageist decision.Have they seen the latest Vogue,it features a lovely lady who is 100 years of age?There are enough shops already catering for the young.I have always found Katie’s to be affordable and wearable

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