By Aimee Chanthadavong

Myer will be taking sass & bide away from arch rival David Jones after the giant retailer announced the acquisition of the Australian designer brand.

Myer has bought 65 per cent of the sass & bide label for $42.25 million.

While sass & bide will operate as a separate entity, Myer will have exclusive department store rights to distribute the designer brand, as well as benefit from the expansion of sass & bide standalone store network and its domestic and international wholesale businesses.

Jo Lynch, Myer spokesperson, told Retailbiz that Myer will become the exclusive distributor of sass & bide.

“We’re really excited to further secure Myer as the premier fashion destination, particularly with the recent announcement of the exclusive agreement of Simona and Arthur Galan,” she said.

“We look forward to building sass & bide’s loyal customer base and by having sass & bide as part of Myer’s loyal customer base there’s every intention that it will help to drive traffic and increase sales across the stores.”

It is planned that sass & bide will be launched in approximately 30 Myer stores over the next 18 months.

Myer CEO Bernie Brookes said Myer’s investment in sass & bide is consistent with the company’s growth strategy, new store openings, investing in store refurbishments and refreshments, growing and leveraging Myer one and introducing new products, categories, brands, concepts and concessions.

“Sass & bide’s highly experienced and successful management team will continue to drive success of the business and will also provide us with valuable insights and exposure to specialty retail,” he said.

David Jones has confirmed in a statement that it will continue to carry the sass & bide Autumn/Winter 2011 Collection and thereafter will cease carrying the label after 10 years.

David Jones CEO Paul Zahra said that the brand only contributed to 0.5 per cent of David Jones’ sales and felt that better investments could be made elsewhere.

“We did the calculations and could not justify the price paid for the business, particularly given the lack of growth in our sass & bide business with sales and gross profit in FY10 at approximately FY05 levels,” he said.

“We are not in the business of acquiring brands simply to secure distribution. Our expertise lies in operating department stores, not in embarking upon a specialty standalone store expansion program.”