Mosaic Brands – owner of clothing brands Rivers, Millers, Katies and Noni B – has announced that they will potentially close up to 500 stores following the financial impact of the bushfires and COVID-19. 

ABC report that the retail group’s leases on nearly 80 per cent of its 1,333 stores are expiring over the next two years. As a result, 300-500 of these stores may close during that timeframe.

The possibility of store closures comes after 129 of its Westfield stores were closed by landlord Scentre Group, impacting up to 400 staff.

Mosaic Brands lost $45.8 million before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortisation for the full year to June 28.

The poor performance was reportedly “driven by bushfires and store closures due to COVID-19, both occurring during key peak trading periods.”

However, CEO Scott Evans said this result “does not reflect the consistent growth the Group has achieved over the past four years”.

In a statement, he said: “There is no roadmap to navigate these circumstances, but our operational priorities have been ensuring team and customer safety, reducing inventory, and maintaining a strong cash position”.