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Australian department stores giant Myer has signed growing local fashion label We Are Kindred to its roster. The three-year-old label has been signed up for an initial one-year deal with the retailer saying that two seasons are the minimum time it needs to judge a label’s appeal.
Founded by Georgie Renkert, a fashion industry veteran, and her sister Lizzie, the latter said the We Are Kindred strategy was always to link-up with a major name retailer and they feel that the firm is ready for the increased scale this will mean in terms of logistics.
She told the Sydney Morning Herald that Myer has “a good strategy in place for launching emerging brands like ours. We’re not a brand that they have.”
The move comes as the Australian department store space gets increasingly competitive in terms of brands being signed to exclusive deals. Myer is also investing in its own Maticevski label and opening concessions for French brand The Kooples and Zadig & Voltaire. Meanwhile, in the past fortnight, major Myer rival David Jones has struck deals with well known labels Aje and By Johnny.
Both Myer and David Jones are facing tough times and are positioning themselves to compete with a raft of international newcomers as well as with each other. More international fashion retail giants are opening in their market and the arrival of Amazon in Australia also means the stakes have been raised for online fashion and homewares retail there.