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City Chic Collective acquires plus-size brand Navabi

By Danielle Wightman-Stone

2 Aug 2021


Image: courtesy of Navabi Stock Images

Australian retail group City Chic Collective, which specialises in plus-size women’s apparel, footwear and accessories, has acquired German plus-sized e-commerce retailer Navabi for 6 million euros as part of its strategic plans to get a “foothold” in Europe.

City Chic Collective, listed on the Australian Stock Exchange, has acquired 100 percent of the shares in Navabi in cash from the plus-size online retailer’s founders Zahir Dehnadi and Bahman Nedaei.

Phil Ryan, chief executive officer and managing director of City Chic Collective, said in a statement: “Navabi is an exciting strategic opportunity, giving us a great foothold in the 40 billion euro European plus-size market, which is the next key geography in driving towards our vision to lead a world of curves.

“Over the past decade we have followed Navabi as it has built a strong online marketplace for plus-size brands. The Navabi customer has the same emotional connection that has driven our success, and we are excited to introduce our brands to this European customer base. The acquisition is in line with our tried and tested strategy of increasing our global digital customer base and driving profitable revenue growth.”

The acquisition includes all assets and liabilities of Navabi, including 2.1 million euros of cash net of tax liabilities.

City Chic Collective targets European market after acquiring Navabi

Navabi was founded in 2009, establishing itself as an online marketplace for hundreds of third-party women’s plus size brands, selling clothing, footwear and accessories, as well as developing its own exclusive brands. The online retailer’s customers are predominantly based in Germany, however, it has multiple websites across European countries including the UK and France.

In 2020, Navabi generated revenues of 10.4 million euros and had 5.8 million customer visits to its websites. However, City Chic Collective adds that the e-commerce platform was impacted by the pandemic, as website traffic in prior years had exceeded 10 million visits, and whilst the business has traded profitability in 2021, revenue and traffic have not recovered to pre-pandemic levels.

Looking ahead, City Chic Collective said that as Navabi’s inventory was “depleted” through the pandemic and it will look to rebuild it to “more commercial levels” over the next six months and that it expects trading and profitability to “improve” from 2022.

It also confirmed that Navabi’s team of employees have been acquired and will work with founders and senior management through the transition and the “go-forward structure will be assessed as part of the integration with the City Chic Collective”.

This marks the Australian retail group’s second acquisition in Europe, in December 2020, it acquired Arcadia’s Evans in a deal that excluded the retailer’s store networks and announced plans to operate the label as an online-only brand.

City Chic Collective operates Australia’s leading plus-size fashion retailer City Chic which has a network of 89 stores across Australia and New Zealand, as well as a successful e-commerce channel, as well as US-based Avenue that targets value-conscious women, and Hips and Curves, an online intimates brand. It also has marketplace and wholesale partnerships with major US retailers such as Macy’s and Nordstrom and European and UK partners including Asos and Zalando.