Cotton On Group is Australia's largest global retailer, known for its fashion clothing and stationery brands. It has over 1,500 stores in 18 countries and employs 22,000 workers globally.

It currently operates eight brands; Cotton On, Cotton On Body, Cotton On Kids, Rubi, Typo, Cotton On LOST, Factorie and Supré.

History

Cotton On was founded in 1991, with the first store being opened in Geelong, Australia. [1] As of 2020, the Cotton On Group consists of 8 brands with over 1,500 stores in 18 countries.[2]

The company was established by Nigel Austin in Geelong, Australia. Since then the company has launched a number of new brands; Cotton On Kids launched in 2004, followed by Cotton On Body and Factorie in 2007. It expanded to Typo (stationery and gifts), and also Rubi in 2008.[1] In 2013, Cotton On acquired Australian female youth brand Supré.[3]

Cotton On opened its first store outside of Australia, in Queensgate Shopping Centre, New Zealand in 2006,[1] and now operates in 18 countries.

The design team in the company's Australian office, control the steps of production from merchandise planning to establishing specifications, and production is outsourced to approximately 850 suppliers and factories globally. Cotton On Group source their materials and products from a number of locations worldwide with the majority of their suppliers being located in China, Bangladesh, India and Australia. They also work with suppliers in Sri Lanka, Hong Kong, the United States and other parts of Asia. [4][5] These facilities are used for horizontal division of labor rather than being integrated.

The Brands

Cotton On

[6]

Cotton On Kids

Launched in 2004, Cotton On Kids categories include girls and boys apparel, baby apparel, activewear, dress ups, accessories, sleep, swim, gifting and stationery. In March 2013 they launched a range, Free by Cotton On, which offers apparel for 9–14-year-olds.[7]

Cotton On Body

Cotton On Body launched with intimates and sleepwear in 2007. They then expanded into swimwear and activewear.[8]

Factorie

Factorie is a youth fashion brand. Factorie joined the Cotton On Group in 2007 and has grown internationally to over 160+ stores across Australia, New Zealand and South Africa.[9]

Rubi

Rubi is a footwear and accessories brand. Launched in 2008.[10]

Typo

Typo is a stationery brand.[11]

Supré

Established in 1984, in the female youth market. Part of the Cotton On Group since 2013, Supré has more than 1,000 workers across 100+ retail stores in Australia and New Zealand.[12]

LOST

Cotton On LOST was launched in late 2018. The range includes travel luggage and accessories.[13]

Worldwide store distribution

The group had the following number of stores as of July 2019:[14][15]

Americas:

  • Brazil (8)
  • United States (154)

Europe:

  • UK (30)

Asia:

  • Malaysia (81)
  • Singapore (77)
  • Hong Kong (5)
  • Philippines (36)
  • Thailand (15)
  • Indonesia (32)

Middle East and Africa:

  • UAE (34)
  • Saudi Arabia (3)
  • Oman (1)
  • Jordan (2)
  • South Africa (169)
  • Namibia (6)
  • Botswana (1)

Oceania:

  • Australia (688)
  • New Zealand (126)

Controversy

In December 2012 Cotton On was fined $1 million for selling highly flammable children's sleepwear misleadingly labeled as low fire danger. The discount clothing retailer, which has more than 900 outlets across the country, was fined $400,000 for selling more than 1000 nightdresses that breached Australian fire safety standards, and a further $400,000 for selling more than 1000 unsafe pairs of girls' pajamas, between September and December 2010. It was fined a further $200,000 for false and misleading labels on both sets of clothing items which claimed they were low fire danger.[16]

References