Diana Ferrari is closing its boutiques, leaving only its outlet stores open, after its parent company decided to focus on footwear.
The Aussie footwear, clothing and accessories label announced that its branded stores, other than the outlets, would either close or be rebranded in the coming months, with Diana Ferrari shoes continuing to be sold online and through Williams and Mathers shops, as well as at David Jones and Myer.
The closures follow in the footsteps of big names such as Dick Smith, Laura Ashley, and David Lawrence, which have all previously disappeared from malls.
Diana Ferrari is part of the Munro Footwear Group (MFG), and all staff will be offered jobs within the company’s network of 280-plus stores. Munro CEO Jay Munro said the company had decided to exit the apparel business so it can focus on footwear.
“This was a difficult decision because Diana Ferrari Retail and its apparel division have been solid performers with a loyal customer base and staff dedicated to a high level of customer service,” he said. “However, focusing purely on footwear across all MFG brands is the right strategic decision for the company.”
Another well-known Aussie brand, Oroton, was saved from the brink of collapse just weeks ago, after a last-minute deal to buy the ailing handbag business from its administrators. Caledonia Funds Management chief investment officer Will Vicars has purchased the Australian-run business and will take control from the Lane family, who founded the company in 1938.
Deloitte, acting as Oroton’s voluntary administrators, announced that the move will allow the popular accessories brand to continue operating.
“Importantly the proposal would allow Oroton Group to remain trading and avoid a breakup of the business to the detriment of employees, creditors and other stakeholders, and seeks to ensure a strong and stable future for the company and its stakeholders,” Deloitte said in a statement to the Australian Securities Exchange.
Oroton went into voluntary administration in late November, after failing to sell the company or find new investors to prop it up and turn it around.
Aussie retail has struggled in recent years with popular brands Dick Smith, Laura Ashley, and David Lawrence all handed over to administrators. Specialty Fashion Group, which owns Katies, Millers and Rivers, has also hit a dead end ,with plans to close at least 300 of its 1,000-plus stores by 2020, after a six-year decline in earnings.
Correction: This story has been updated to reflect that the Diana Ferrari brand has not ‘collapsed’, with its footwear continuing to be sold at a number of outlets.