Jag makes a comeback

 

unnamed-12Twelve months after its acquisition by Apparel Group, the once “neglected” Jag brand is on the comeback trail, with a new store look and aggressive rollout in the pipeline.

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Formerly owned by Fusion Retail Group, Jag was purchased by fellow Australian operator, Apparel Group, owner of Saba, Sportscraft, and Willow, for an undisclosed sum in September last year.

At the time of the acquisition Jag had 27 standalone stores and distributed to 68 Myer stores and a number of independent wholesale accounts.

Under the new ownership, the Melbourne-based label now has 21 stores, but is planning an aggressive rollout in a bid to regain exposure in the marketplace as a denim retailer.

Four stores have opened under a new store concept, including Bondi Junction, Sydney; Indooroopilly, Brisbane; Woden, Canberra; and Rundle Mall in Adelaide’s CBD.

Two new stores will open before the end of the year at Joondalup in Perth and Garden City in Brisbane. Another is expected to open at Sydney’s revamped Westfield Miranda, however, the launch date is yet to be confirmed.

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Tina Van Zyl, GM of Jag, says the brand would like a more aggressive rollout, but expansion has been hindered due to the lack of metro sites available.

“When we took over the brand a year ago and did market research we found the biggest challenge is that it doesn’t have enough exposure and access in the marketplace,” Van Zyl told Inside Retail PREMIUM.

“People don’t know where to find us. Everyone knows the brand, and is aware of the brand, but the question I get asked more than anything is, ‘where are you?’”

While Jag has a new store look, Van Zyl says the label has not been reinvented nor changed its target market. Instead, Jag is going back to its roots.

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“The brand has been neglected, but it is definitely not broken. People have lost track of where it is and what’s happened to it. We’ve done the DNA work and it’s very clear to us that Jag is a denim brand. It’s a denim brand that really should have a wide appeal and be accessible to a wider market.”

Other stores in the network will soon feature elements of the new blueprint, but for now, the retailer is focused on securing inner city sites, both in shopping centres and strip locations.

“If you look at NSW, we’re in Erina, Penrith, Castle Hill, and Campbelltown, so we want to get more exposure in the city and in the prime locations.”

One key location Jag is eyeing is Chapel St, Melbourne, where it opened its first store more than 30 years ago.

Longer term, it will look to open stores in New Zealand, where fellow Apparel Group-owned brand, Sportcraft, launched last year.

Sportcraft opened a store in store concept at department store, Ballantynes, in Christchurch, with the concession offering womenswear, menswear, and accessories.

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