Aussie Fashion Stalwart Sambag to Close

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By Published On: March 16, 20180 Comments

After a monumental 22 years of trade, the last few years of pressure from high rents and online competition has proved too much, with Sambag announcing the business will close.

Australian fashion and accessories retailer Sambag will shut up shop after 22 years of trade, it was announced this week. This comes off the back of OrotonGroup, Marcs and David Lawrence going into administration recently.

Founder of Sambag, Sam Wagner, released a statement to address the closure:

It is with great sadness that I announce the closure of Sambag Sydney in the months to come. I would like to thank everyone who has been on this incredible journey with me over the last two decades. You have all contributed to Sambag’s success, and for that, I am truly grateful.

Wagner’s fashion empire started from humble beginnings at a stall in Sydney’s Paddinton markets in 1996. The first boutique opened in Woollahra, Sydney in 2005 before opening Australia-wide, internationally and launching a successful e-commerce store.

Recent research by SV Partners reveals that almost 1,500 retail businesses are at risk of imminent collapse, including more than 260 retailers with turnovers of more than $10 million annually. This represents a 3 per cent increase in at-risk retailers in the last 12 months.

SV Partners Managing Director Terry van der Velde said that increased competition from online retailers has continued to put strain on many retailers. With Zara’s much anticipated online launch this week and Amazon amping up its offerings with Prime and FBA, that pressure is only set to continue.

“High rents in capital cities, high labour costs and the increasing number of consumers choosing to spend their discretionary income on experiences rather than new items have continued to be stress points for many retailers,” van der Velde explained.

While Wagner didn’t directly address the reasons for closure, she did refer to the “rollercoaster” of her retail journey to-date: “the ups and downs, successes and failure, achievements and overcoming hurdles.”

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