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Diana Ferrari moves online

Footwear, clothing and accessories label Diana Ferrari will become an online-only retailer, announcing plans to close all of its stores following a strategic review of the business.

The brand, which announced the closures on social media yesterday, said that company stores will be closed over the coming months, but will continue to be available online, through Munro Footwear Group sister brands Williams and Mathers, as well as through wholesale stockists and major department stores.

The retailer’s Woden, Chatswood, Penrith and Hornsby locations will close on January 21, followed by Miranda and Knox the following week.

In June last year, Munro Footwear Group (MFG) acquired Fusion Retail Brands, which previously owned Diana Ferrari and other footwear chains including Colorado.

Munro Footwear Group CEO Jay Munro has said that Diana Ferrari will also exit apparel as part of a plan for the business that will see all of the group’s brands focus on footwear.

Following a number of high profile brands collapsing last year, 2018 is already off to a bumpy start with Maggie T entering into administration, and Diana Ferrari announcing that it will be closing all of its physical stores in the coming months – painting a gloomy picture for Australian retailers according to Andrew Spring, partner at insolvency firm Jirsch Sutherland.

“This news shows that well-known brands are surrendering to the mounting pressure faced by traditional bricks and mortar operations,” he said.

“As the online retail marketplace expands and traditional geographical barriers to entry are removed, Aussie retailers are dealing with more competition than ever before. And those retailers that have failed to evolve by investing in their e-commerce platforms, will continue to feel the pain this year as they find the costs of a having a bricks and mortar store too high.

“It also particularly difficult on retailers when they are committed to leases and staff, and they’re locked in. Other key contributors include obsolete stock issues, and poor record keeping.

“We predict that we haven’t seen the worst of retail woes and that 2018 will unfortunately see many more homegrown brands go into insolvency.”

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