Country Road began as a niche women's shirting business in 1974 and soon became Australia's first lifestyle brand, renowned for simply stylish, high-quality apparel, accessories, and homewares.
The 1980s and 1990s Country Road significantly expanded their Australian store base and wholesale business, whilst also entering the US and Asian markets. The Country Road superstore concept was developed and, for the first time, Australians could access all four key product areas - womenswear, menswear, accessories, and homewares - in one integrated lifestyle destination.
The 1990s were, however, lean years. The US business failed. In Australia, the brand became less competitive and ultimately unprofitable.
With a bold new vision for the brand, Woolworth Holdings Ltd South Africa secured a controlling interest in Country Road in 1998 and we began to re-build the business from the bottom up. We exited the US and Asian markets, reduced our prices, and established a more fashionable offering in step with changing consumer trends.
In 2004 Country Road relaunched with a new modern identity. Over the next 3 years the Country Road store base began to expand rapidly. Country Road ceased wholesaling and entered Australia's two major department stores on a concession basis. Childrenswear and babywear ranges were introduced, completing our lifestyle offer.
With 60 retail stores, an additional 80 concession outlets, and over 2000 employees in Australia and New Zealand, Country Road have regained control of the brand and once again become a significant market leader in the Australian retail and fashion industry.