Pacific Brands

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Pacific Brands
Type Public
Traded as
Founded 1985, listed on ASX and NSX in 2004 [1]
Headquarters Richmond, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Key people Peter Bush Chairman, John Pollaers CEO
Revenue
  • DecreaseAUD 1,270 million (2013)
  • AUD 1,320 million (2012)
Net income
  • IncreaseAUD 73.8 million (2013)
  • AUD –450 million (2012)
Employees 5000
Subsidiaries Key brands include Bonds, Sheridan, Hard Yakka, Berlei, Clarks, Dunlop Flooring, Dunlopillo, Everlast, Fairydown, Grosby, Holeproof Explorer, Hush Puppies, Jockey, Julius Marlow, KingGee, Mossimo, Razzamatazz, Stubbies, Superdry, Tontine, Volley and Voodoo.
Website pacificbrands.com.au

Pacific Brands is an Australian clothing, footwear and home textiles company. Its iconic brands include Bonds, Sheridan, Hard Yakka, Berlei, (Clarks), Dunlop Flooring, Dunlopillo, Everlast, Fairydown, Grosby, Holeproof Explorer, Hush Puppies, Jockey, Julius Marlow, KingGee, Mossimo, Razzamatazz, Stubbies, Superdry, Tontine, Volley and Voodoo.[2]

History[edit]

The company's origins stretch back to 1893, when Ireland's Dunlop Pneumatic Tyre Company opened a branch office and factory in Melbourne.[3] The branch was sold in 1899 and became a separate company, Dunlop Pneumatic Tyre Company of Australasia Ltd, independent of the original Dunlop company. After several name changes, the Australian company became Pacific Dunlop.[4]

Pacific Brands was formed as a division of the Australian company Pacific Dunlop in 1985. In 2001 Pacific Dunlop sold the division to CVC Asia Pacific and Catalyst Investment Managers, who in 2004 floated the company on the Australian Stock Exchange.[5] The company's stock forms part of the ASX 200 index.

  • 1893 Manufactures Dunlop Bicycle tyres.[6]
  • 1915 Bonds founded by George Alan Bond.[7]
  • 1920 Bonds start producing the Men's Athletic Singlet, to become known as the iconic Chesty Bond.[8]
  • 1929 Commences manufacturing of footwear with rubber boots.
  • 1937 Enters sporting goods market with the acquisition of Empire Racket Company.[9]
  • 1960 Produces Sleepmaker inner spring mattresses.
  • 1969 Enters underwear and socks market with the acquisition of Holeproof.
  • 1971 Created Branded footwear business with the acquisition of Grosby.
  • 1982 Acquisition of Paul Winestock's business, which acted as the catalyst for the company's movement into footwear importing.[10]
  • 1985 Formation of Pacific Brands as a division of Pacific Dunlop.[11]
  • 1987 Strengthens its position in Underwear category with the acquisition of Bonds.[12]
  • 1994 First Sheridan Boutique stores opened in Double Bay and St Ives.
  • 1995 Enters outerwear market with the purchase of Boydex International Pty Ltd.
  • 1997 Establishes wholly owned bra manufacturing factory in Indonesia, through the formation of PT Berlei Indonesia.
  • 2000 Develops branded footwear business with the acquisition of Clarks (children) and Hush Puppies licences.[13]
  • 2000 Paul Moore appointed CEO of the business, and a Board of Directors established under the Chairmanship of former Westpac banker Pat Handley.[14]
  • 2001 Pacific Brands was spun off from Pacific Dunlop and sold to CVC Asia Pacific and Catalyst Investment Managers.[15]
  • March 2001, further develops key categories with the acquisition of Sara Lee Apparel Australia Business (including King Gee, Playtex, Razzamatazz and Stubbies).[16]
  • 2002 PT Berlei becomes WRAP (Worldwide Responsible Accredited Production) certified.[17]
  • 2003 Acquisition of Kolotex hosiery[18] and Sachi women's footwear.[19]
  • 2004 Listing on the Australian Stock Exchange and New Zealand Stock Exchange.[20]
  • Merrell Footwear distribution licence obtained.[21]
  • Sheridan starts expanding Boutique network.
  • 2005 Secures distribution rights for Esprit bedding accessories.
  • Acquisitions of Sheridan business including Actil and Arthur Ellis (Homewares New Zealand and Everwarm Survival businesses).[22]
  • 2006 Acquisitions of Peri and Foam Products Australia (FPA).[23]
  • 2007 Acquired the streetwear division of Globe International (brands include Mooks, Mossimo, Paul Frank, Superdry and Stussy).[24]
  • 2007 Acquired the Yakka group of companies (including the Yakka, Hard Yakka, Can't Tear 'Em, Stylecorp, NNT Uniforms, Wrangler and Lee Jeans brands) from the Laidlaw family.[25]
  • CEO Paul Moore announces retirement, followed three months later by the retirement of Chairman Pat Handley. James McKenzie appointed Chairman.[26] Pacific Brands Group General Manager of Underwear and Hosiery Sue Morphet announced as successor to Moore,[27] effective 1 January 2008.
  • Berlei launched the Barely There bra in 2008.
  • In 2008 the company signed up to the Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI). Pacific Brands is the founding Australian company to join the ETI - a tripartite organisation involving companies, unions and NGO’s. The Code is widely acknowledged as a model code of labour practice, and is derived from the Conventions of the International Labour Organisation (ILO).[28]
  • In 2009 the Ethical Trading Initiative rated the company as Beginner.
  • 2009 In dealing with the GFC, the company unveiled its new strategy which would see it exit the majority of its local manufacturing and focus on competitive sourcing alternatives offshore. Announces it will lay off 1,850 staff and close most manufacturing sites in Australia, saying they are no longer economically viable.[29] As part of this transformation, the company undertook a capital raising and debt refinancing, raising $165m and refinancing its debt across a range of banks.[30] The company had received $17.6M in government funding over the previous two years as part of the Textile, Clothing and Footwear Strategic Investment Program designed to improve the TCF industry, improve international competitiveness and assist the industry in adjusting to the lower tariff environment.[31][32]
  • In 2009, Pacific Brands donated in excess of AUD $500,000 worth of product to the Salvation Army and in excess of AUD $50,000 cash to The Red Cross to assist in dealing with the bushfire crises in Australia at that time. Its staff also volunteered time to assist in the response effort.
  • In 2010 the Ethical Trading Initiative increased the company’s rating from Beginner to Improver.
  • During 2010, Pacific Brands sold its Chinese Grosby shoe factory, signaling a complete exit from footwear manufacturing. As part of the same deal, it sold its UK footwear business.
  • Tontine – Pacific Brands pillow business – introduced an innovative date stamped pillow in 2010, and suggested that Australians should change their pillows every 2 years. Research conducted by the brand found that a pillow could grow a complex ecosystem made up of dead skin cells and the things that feed on them. The research also showed there was an average of 9 pillows in every Australian home, with the average age of the oldest pillow being 5.7 years.[33]
  • 2010 Relinquishes licence for Merrell footwear.[34] Saban acquires Paul Frank Industries and licence.[35]
  • 2011 Sleepmaker and Dunlop Foams sold to New Zealand company Sleepyhead and the company sold its Leisure and Fitness business (including Malvern Star Bicycles) to New Zealand's Sheppard Group[36]
  • During 2011, Pacific Brands acquired the Brands United business from Gazal, which comprised 13 underwear and hosiery retail outlets.[37]
  • July 2011 www.sheridan.com.au is launched.
  • November 2011 www.bonds.com.au launched.[38]
  • In 2011 the Ethical Trading Initiative increased the company’s rating from Improver to Achiever.
  • In 2012, Volley was the official “dress” shoe of the Australian Olympic Team, who wore a specially designed shoe as part of their uniform during the Opening and Closing ceremonies at the London Olympics. A limited number of the shoes were offered for sale to the public through Big W outlets.[39]
  • May 2012 BONDS opens its first retail store.[40]
  • May 2012 Peter Bush announced as new Chairman of Pacific Brands.[41]
  • August 2012 John Pollaers appointed new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Pacific Brands.[42]
  • December 2012 BONDS opens its first outlet store.
  • 2012 PT Berlei Indonesia changes name to Pacific Brands Indonesia as it starts to broaden its underwear-manufacturing base.
  • September 2013 BONDS opens its first kid's store.[43]
  • December 2013 Pacific Brands acquires UK’s premier corporate clothing company, Incorporatewear Ltd.[44]
  • December 2013 Pacific Brands becomes a signatory to the Bangladesh Accord.[45]
  • March 2014 BONDS opens its first international store – in Indonesia. By mid 2014 BONDS to have 25 BONDS store and a further 25 BONDS outlets.[46]
  • April 2014 Superdry opens its flagship store in Emporium, Melbourne.

Ambassadors[edit]

Across its many brands, the company has long supported the use of Australian and overseas celebrities in its marketing and advertising. Among those contracted include Sarah Murdoch, Pat Rafter, Michael Clarke, Rachael Taylor, Miranda Kerr, Riley Keogh, Samara Weaving, Isabelle Cornish, Todd Lasance (all Bonds), Doug Walters, Mark Waugh, Michael Taylor (Slazenger), Dan Carter, Matt Shirvington (Jockey), Kate Ceberano, Sophie Falkiner, Serena Williams, Jamie Durie (King Gee), Andrew Gaze, Cathy Freeman, Mark Philippoussis (Dunlop).

Business[edit]

In recent years Pacific Brands has undergone a complete renewal at Board and Senior Executive level. In July 2012 Peter Bush was appointed Chairman of Pacific Brands, and five new directors have since joined the Board. One of Bush’s first changes was the appointment of former Foster's Group CEO John Pollaers in September 2012.

While Pacific Brands has moved largely to a third party sourcing model, it continues to operate its own factories in sites in Victoria at Campbellfield (pillows and quilts), Footscray (workwear assembly), Sunshine and Wetherill Park (flooring/carpet underlay), Auckland (workwear assembly) and Indonesia (bras and underwear).

The company reported sales for the six months to 31 December 2013 (1H14) up for the first time in 5 years by 2.7% to $656.3 million driven by growth in Bonds (up 20.4%) and Sheridan (up 15.0%), continued expansion in retail and online, and significantly stronger overall 2Q14 trading relative to 1Q14. It reported a net loss after tax of $219.0 million for 1H14 due mainly to the impact of impairment charges (non-cash) and restructuring costs in the Workwear and Brand Collective businesses.

Appointment of John Pollaers as CEO[edit]

Pollaers was appointed for his proven experience in managing and building great brands, knowledge of how to perform under tough market conditions and his successful track record in working with wholesale and retail clients.[47]

“Pollaers is an experienced public company CEO, having a distinguished international career spanning 22 years and brings a different skill set, level of leadership experience and energy to the company,” Bush commented.[48] John’s strong commercial focus coupled with his ability to motivate and build confidence and galvanise teams makes him the right person to take the company forward.[49]

In 2013, Pollaers unveiled his new strategic blueprint for the company and positioned Pacific Brands as “Australian for innovation and design, loved by the world.”[50] The plan outlined a series of strategic imperatives to achieve the vision: build a breakthrough performance culture that is united by a common belief and central purpose that binds the company together; maximise the full potential of each core business; drive direct shopping experiences that excite customers – focus the retail expansions on both Bonds and Sheridan; explore potential for geographic expansion; and maintain an internationally competitive sourcing and supply chain.[51]

Operating units[edit]

The company has four distinct operating groups covering Pacific Brands Underwear, Sheridan Tontine, Pacific Brands Workwear and Brand Collective (its licensed business).[52]

The majority of its products are sold through indirect or wholesale channels, supported by the growing direct (via online and owned retail stores) and business to business channels.

Pacific Brands Underwear Group[edit]

Pacific Brands Underwear group comprises market leading brands across a variety of apparel segments, including Bonds (underwear, socks, babywear, outerwear, activewear), Berlei (bras, underwear, hosiery), Jockey (underwear, socks, activewear), Explorer (socks, underwear) and hosiery brands such as Razzamatazz, Sheer Relief and Voodoo. The business also has a number of portfolio brands including Rio, Holeproof and TMI.

Sheridan Tontine[edit]

Sheridan Tontine brings together Sheridan, Tontine, Dunlopillo, Fairydown and Actil. In addition to luxury bed linen, bedding accessories and towels, Sheridan has recently broadened its lifestyle categories to include babywear and bedding and loungewear. Tontine is Australia’s leading manufacturer and wholesaler of bedding accessories including pillows and quilts, under the brands of Tontine and Dunlopillo.

Pacific Brands Workwear Group[edit]

Pacific Brands Workwear is Australasia's largest workwear provider and the fourth largest provider globally, supplying more than a million units each year to customers globally, with clients and offices in Australia, New Zealand, Asia, Europe and the Middle East.

Iconic workwear brands, Hard Yakka, KingGee, and Stubbies form part of Pacific Brands Workwear. Pacific Brands Workwear supplies uniforms (corporate uniforms and/or industrial workwear) to some of Australia's most iconic companies.

The group sells its products through three main channels:

• B2B – direct engagement with corporate customers

• Wholesale – sales to major resellers, wholesalers and traditional retailers

• Retail – direct sales to customers through trade centres, company owned stores and branded online store

Brand Collective[edit]

Brand Collective comprises a portfolio of Footwear, Fashion and Sport brands, both licenced and owned. It includes premium brands such as Clarks, Hush Puppies, Julius Marlow, Mossimo and Superdry, as well as Volley, Grosby and the sport brands Dunlop, Everlast and Slazenger.

Brands across the group are sold through both Direct to Consumer and wholesale channels.

Brands[edit]

  • BONDS[53]
  • Sheridan[54]
  • Hard Yakka[55]
  • Berlei[56]
  • Clarks,
  • Dunlop Flooring,
  • Dunlopillo,
  • Everlast,
  • Fairydown,
  • Grosby,
  • Holeproof Explorer,
  • Hush Puppies,
  • Jockey,
  • Julius Marlow,
  • KingGee,
  • Mossimo,
  • Razzamatazz,
  • Stubbies,
  • Superdry,
  • Tontine,
  • Volley,
  • Voodoo.

Controversies[edit]

Local manufacturing[edit]

Pacific Brands have been criticized by union groups for its decision to move manufacturing overseas. In 2009, the board of Pacific Brands announced the sacking of 1,850 employees,[57] after granting pay rises to executives who developed a plan to move manufacturing operations to China. Union groups protested against the 170% increase in CEO Sue Morphet's pay package.[58]

Human rights[edit]

Pacific Brands has come under the spotlight due to the lack of transparency in its overseas operations.[59] Pacific Brands says that accountability is one of its underlying values, stating on its website: "do what you say, take responsibility".[60]

As a member of the Ethical Trading Initiative since 2008,[61] which is an independent & internationally recognised code of labour practice, founded on the conventions of the International Labour Organisation,[62] Pacific Brands is obliged to report fairly and accurately on its trading activities and their performance on key labour rights issues. Ethical Trading Initiative,[63] At the same time, the global garment sector remains notorious for its poor record on human rights, marked by ongoing barriers to freedom of association, unsafe working conditions and poverty wages.[64]

One of Pacific Brands’ supplier, Li & Fung has been criticized by Oxfam for having a poor record with regards to transparency and reporting. In 2009 the Oxfam Hong-Kong transparency report revealed that Li & Fung has a poor record on transparency and audit reporting.[65] In a 2008 investigation into labour rights violations at an Indonesian factory, the Worker Rights Consortium wrote that "[Li & Fung's] expertise in supply chain management has not been matched by a capacity for credible labour rights investigation."[66] An additional key obligation for companies under the Ethical Trading Initiative base code is a living wage provision, which states that companies are obliged to pay enough for workers to meet basic needs and to provide some discretionary income.[67] Oxfam Australia has urged Pacific Brands to adopt transparent and independent auditing practices, as an initial step towards ensuring respect for the rights workers in their supply chain.[68]

Executive remuneration[edit]

During Ms. Morphet's leadership of Pacific Brands, sales has fallen by 15 per cent and net profit by 40 per cent. EPS decreased from 11.5 cents/share to 3.0 cents/share.[69]

In October 2011, Pacific Brands shareholders voiced their disapproval for its remuneration report. There was a backlash from investors due to Pacific Brands bonuses.[70] Although shareholders have had the right to vote on remuneration reports since 2005, the results of the shareholder vote were not binding on the board. Under the new rule, a company will be obliged to hold a spill vote of its board if its remuneration report is not supported by 75% or more shareholders for two years in a row.[71]

Social Compliance Initiatives[edit]

As the founding Australian member of the Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI) since 2008,[72] which is an independent & internationally recognised code of labour practice, founded on the conventions of the International Labour Organisation,[73] annually discloses its ethical sourcing program to the ETI, including its year on year continuous improvement initiatives.[74]

ETI members must adopt their principles of implementation, which set out the approach to ethical trade, including the requirements for companies to demonstrate a clear commitment to integrate ethical trade into their core business practices; to drive ongoing improvements to worker welfare and working conditions, for example through advice and training; and report openly and accurately about their activities.[75]

Since joining the ETI in 2008, Pacific Brands has demonstrated thought leadership and yearly improvements which has seen its membership status upgraded from Beginner in 2008, to Improver in 2010 and to Achiever in 2011.

References[edit]

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External links[edit]