Plus-size bra firm Big Girls finds new owner
Plus-sized lingerie business Big Girls Don't Cry (Anymore) has been sold to Sydney e-commerce retailer Curvy.com.au less than a month after collapsing with debts in excess of $2m.
Big Girls Don't Cry, a Brisbane-based company founded in 1992 by Karen Mason, operated from a suburban shopfront selling bras and swimwear for women sized up to 36.
But the business went bust just before Christmas leaving more than 50 people out of work and scores of customers chasing orders.
Lane Cove-based Curvy is owned by Wes Blundy, the nephew of retail king Brett Blundy who is the former owner of Bras N Things. Terms of the sale were not disclosed.
Liquidator Jarvis Archer, a partner at Revive Financial, said that while the Big Girls business had expanded in recent years Ms Mason's husband Keith died in May.
"Since this time, Ms Mason had sought to continue trading the business with the support of her staff but she could no longer continue to do so," said Mr Archer.
Curvy, which started as a joint venture with Bras N Things, was established as an independent business in 2014. Mr Blundy said he had founded the business after realising there had been a big gap in the plus-sized market.
"When I was working at Bra N Things, I would have customers coming in all the time saying they couldn't find the right size for them," Mr Blundy said. "I like Amazon's approach of being able to combine all the inventory for the whole of Australia from one location and be able to stock these sizes that a store might only sell once a year."
Mr Blundy said both Curvy and Big Girls had experienced explosive ecommerce growth in the last 12 months with COVID accelerating the shift away from traditional retailers.
"It was tragic news to see Big Girls was closing," he said. "We felt if there was someone who should take the privilege of continuing this iconic and much loved business it should be us since our mission is so similar."
Mr Archer said the sale included the intellectual property of Big Girls Don't Cry (Anymore) including business names, websites, contact information and related business records.
"Various encumbrances held by financiers and suppliers have prevented the sale of other company assets however negotiations are ongoing to release inventory and possibly other assets for sale," said Mr Archer.
Mr Archer said the purchaser was still considering the employment of former staff of Big Girls Don't Cry and reopening the Brisbane store.
"There was really strong interest in purchasing the business from both inside and outside the industry," he said. "As a result, a number of competitive offers were received and I'm pleased with the sale price achieved."
He added the sale had provided a substantial increase in the funds available to creditors. "In addition to the cash proceeds, the purchaser will be looking to regain confidence from customers, some of whom may have been affected by the company's closure," he sad. "The purchaser is also engaging with suppliers, some of whom have dealt with the company for many years, to ensure ongoing availability of their brands."
Originally published as Plus-size bra firm Big Girls finds new owner