Millers, Katies, Rivers, Crossroads and Autograph sold to rival chain, Noni B

Border employees of half a dozen different fashion outlets are waiting to find out what the sale of their outlets will mean to them.

Fairfax Media is reporting that struggling retailer Specialty Fashion Group has sold its stable of mid-market brands – Millers, Katies, Rivers, Crossroads and Autograph – to rival group Noni B Group.

Autograph, Katies and Crossroads all have stores in Lavington while Millers has stores in Albury, Lavington and Wodonga.

On Monday morning, Noni B was making no public comment, but a company spokesman said more information would come from executives, possibly later in the day.

The $31 million sale will leave only one brand in Specialty Fashion’s portfolio: City Chic, the successful plus-sized women’s apparel label, which also has an Albury store.

Late is 2017, Specialty Fashion had announced it would close 300 stores would over a three-year period.

The brands being sold ran at a combined $6.2 million loss in the 12 months to the end of December, while City Chic was on track for underlying earnings of $19 million to $20 million this financial year.

Specialty Fashion ran at an $8 million loss in 2017.​

Noni B – which has stores in Albury and Wodonga– owns the Rockmans chain, which also has outlets in Lavington and Albury.

With the acquisition of the Specialty Assets, Noni B Group will become one of the largest specialty women’s apparel retailers in Australia, with a network of more than 1350 stores across nine brands, including Noni B Group’s existing brands, Noni B, Rockmans, W.Lane and BeMe.

Noni B Group’s total annual sales would almost treble to around $1.0 billion following the acquisition, based on calendar year 2017 figures, managing director and chief executive officer Scott Evans has said.

 “This is another exciting step forward for Noni B Group and represents the acquisition of five well-known and established, iconic Australian brands that are both complementary and highly synergistic to our existing portfolio,” he said.

 “With the successful integration of the Pretty Girl Fashion Group over the past 18 months, the team at Noni B Group has created a very successful and scalable retail business.

“With the acquisition of the Specialty Assets, Noni B Group will become one of the pre-eminent women’s apparel retailers in Australia, whilst retaining our solid, focused market position.”