Billabong has been in the news for the wrong reasons over the last 24 hours. The company revealed a sizeable $275 million dollar loss for the year (after $336 million of one-off costs were taken into account) which was mostly blamed on their retail strategy which started just prior to the global financial crisis. You can read a lot more on the announcement over here.
The more worrying part of this is when the new CEO, Laura Inman, stood infront of the investors and said that they needed to “understand what the consumer wants” which contrasts with how the company was built; by offering products consistent with the founders world view. I have no issue with adapting to changing markets and trends but I don’t see many winning brands waiting for the public to tell them what’s up. There’s a million lessons from the past on this, ask Henry Ford or Steve Jobs. Retail analyst Peter Ryan has a surprisingly good take on this which you can watch in the report here.
Next up will be developments around the takeover bid from TPG.