Diana Ferrari to close boutiques, exit fashion as focus turns to footwear

Fashion brand Diana Ferrari will close its bricks and mortar boutiques across the country, scrap its apparel line and focus solely on footwear as its owner tries to adapt to the tough retail environment.

Diana Ferrari's owner, the Munro Footwear Group (MFG), said the 37-year-old brand's shoes  would continue to be sold online, and through its Williams and Mathers shops as well as David Jones and Myer.

MFG will close 14 Diana Ferrari boutiques in the coming months and three others will be rebranded. Five clearance outlets in Victoria and one in NSW will remain open.

MFG acquired Diana Ferrari in June last year when it bought Fusion Retail Brands, which also owned the Colorado label. This added to its own stable of vertically integrated brands including Styletread, Midas, Mollini, Wanted and Django & Juliette.

MFG's chief executive, Jay Munro, said it was closing Diana Ferrari stores and exiting apparel so it could "focus on its core business and objective of being Australia’s best footwear company".

"Diana Ferrari is an iconic Australian footwear brand and MFG is committed through this change to further strengthen the brand going forward," he said.

Mr Munro said Diana Ferrari stores and its apparel range had been "solid performers" but in the current retail environment, it was the right strategic decision for the company to focus solely on footwear.

All affected retail staff would be offered new jobs through MFG's network of 280 stores, he said.
http://www.smh.com.au/business/retail/diana-ferrari-to-close-boutiques-exit-fashion-as-focus-turns-to-footwear-20180108-p4yyc4

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