Late last year, several staff came forward to this masthead to detail their experience working for a company that they said had a culture of not listening to concerns about pay, conditions, and recognition for jobs performed. Staff described working in extremely hot or cold conditions, with models photographed wearing summer clothes in winter needing their images retouched as their skin turned “blue” from the cold.
Australian label Bec & Bridge cut ties with the retailer after accusing it of copying its designs. Its founders Becky Cooper and Bridget Yorston ultimately chose to “exit quietly” from The Iconic rather than pursue further legal action.
The Iconic made a total of 116 roles redundant this year as part of an organisational restructure. A round of redundancies in February eliminated 69 jobs and was followed by a further round in August, which has not been made public until now, that resulted in 47 job losses.
“Our people are always our biggest priority, and we were acutely focussed on limiting the impact on our team members throughout this process, while considering what is strategically required to evolve our operational effectiveness,” a spokesperson said.
The Iconic was established in 2011 and is part of the Global Fashion Group, which is listed on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange. While the brand is profitable as a whole, making €211.8 million ($353 million) in the 2022 financial year, it has never turned a profit in Australia, where it hires around 1000 employees.
Documents filed with the corporate regulator show a loss of more than $11 million for the 2022 calendar year in Australia, more than double the $4.7 million loss in 2021. Meanwhile, sales revenue improved, coming in at $716.9 million, compared to $620.2 million the year before.
Jere Calmes took over as chief executive after Erica Berchtold announced she was leaving after four years to take the top job at Best & Less, but she backed out of the role three months before she was expected to begin.
with Melissa Singer
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