Poor merchandising, sales and profit losses, a lack of strong identity in a competitive market, Sept. 11 and the recession combined to bring the business down.
The cash position of the core Country Road specialty operation in Australia will not be impacted, the company said. Australia accounts for 80 percent of the chain’s business.
Simon Susman, chief executive officer of Woolworths of South Africa, majority owner of Country Road, said in a statement that: “We are confident that the strategic decision to focus on the Australasian business and to produce a single range will result in significant cost benefits and improved ranges. We believe management are taking the necessary action to insure the business is returned to sustained profitability.”
Country Road’s U.S. business will be placed in the hands of a trustee. There are 20 Country Road stores in the U.S.