Freshly Squeezed: 25.09.19

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By Published On: September 25, 20190 Comments

Ziera is entering voluntary administration and Zimmermann opens its second store in Paris. Get a healthy dose of news as we uncover the day’s top stories in e-commerce and retail.

Alibaba Receives 33% Equity Interest

Alibaba Group, Ant Small and Micro Financial Services Group Co have announced a newly-issued 33 per cent equity interest in Ant Financial. This comes after the ‘satisfaction of the closing conditions set forth in the 2014 transaction agreements and the relevant amendments to those agreements’, said a statement. ‘Upon closing of the issuance, the profit-sharing arrangement under which Ant Financial previously paid fees amounting to 37.5 per cent of its pre-tax profits to Alibaba Group was terminated’.

Zimmermann Opens Second Store in Paris

Australian fashion retailer, Zimmermann, has opened its second store in France. The first sits in Saint-Tropez, which opened in April, and the second will be situated within few minutes from Avenue Montaigne. “Sales are huge, despite the small area! The shop is near the beach but our customers often leave with an evening dress seen on our show. And a second, of almost 300 square meters, which they have just inaugurated, rue François-I, in Paris, two steps from Avenue Montaigne … and the restaurant L’Avenue. “I love this place! It is a place of passage with an international clientele. It’s perfect for us,” explained Nicky Zimmermann.

Ziera Enters Voluntary Administration

Footwear company, Ziera, has entered voluntary administration – this comes only a few months after the company appointed a new CEO, chairman and began a shift in its digital strategy. Previously branded as Kumfs, the brand was founded in 1947 and provided comfortable shoes for women, selling in Australia, New Zealand, the US and Singapore. Some of the pitfalls for this brand included the rise in rent, wages and falling sales in physical stores, despite a 50 per cent year-on-year lift in online sales. While it’s not clear what the brand will do at this current time, it is continuing to operate the stores until it finds an adequate buyer for the business. Currently, Ziera has 23 stores in Australia and 22 in New Zealand with 110 members of staff in Australia and 140 in New Zealand.

“Ziera offers something unique in the women’s footwear market: stylish, quality shoes that have been orthopedically designed to be able to be worn all day in comfort,” explained Conor McElhinney, a partner of McGrathNicol, who has been appointed as one of the voluntary administrators for Ziera. “There is an incorrect perception that the shoes are only for mature women. The business rebranded from Kumfs to Ziera to appeal to a broader customer base, but the message about Ziera’s technology did not cut through. In our assessment, the technology has real value and we hope to find another footwear retailer to take on the Ziera mantle and continue to supply its loyal market, while bringing the comfortable fashion message to all women.”

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