Activewear retailer Lorna Jane eyes greater-China growth

Australian activewear retailer Lorna Jane is expanding into greater China as more than 10 potential investors are seeking a majority shareholding.

Around 30 per cent of Lorna Jane’s more than $200 million in annual revenues comes from its online platforms in China. Its sports bra product is the top seller in its category there. It currently has 2.5 million followers on social media.

The business is currently assessing its options, while announcing last month the hire of KPMG to review the company’s strategies. KPMG has commented that the business is “performing extremely well”.

The company is facing competition from gym-wear retailers such as Gymshark and the increasing shift in society of people wearing sportswear as streetwear. Co-owner Lorna Clarkson says activewear has now become ready-to-wear. “There’s now a blurred line between fashion and sports apparel.”

CEO Bill Clarkson said that most likely within the next 12 months “our aim is to eventually open stores in China and Hong Kong,” depending on who the firm’s partner ends up being. It is currently in the process of reducing its physical store network in Australia due to high rental costs.

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