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Storm CEO buys women's clothing chain from Hallenstein

Storm CEO Deborah Caldwell buys women's clothing chain from Hallenstein

By Jonathan Underhill

March 16 (BusinessDesk) - Deborah Caldwell, the chief executive of the Storm clothing chain, has bought the business from Hallenstein Glasson Holdings for an undisclosed amount.

Retailer Hallenstein said in a statement it has agreed to sell Storm to Blackstar Holdings, which lists Caldwell as the shareholder. Caldwell has run Storm since August 2005 and previously worked for JK Kids and Max Fashions.

"The Storm business is no longer considered a strategic core asset of the group as it is focusing its efforts on expanding its other two much larger fashion brands, namely Glassons and Hallenstein Brothers, in both the New Zealand and Australian markets," Hallenstein chief executive Mark Goddard said in a statement. "The value of the transaction is not material in terms of the assets or profit of the group."

Storm had assets of about $1.2 million and current liabilities of $487,000, according to its 2017 annual report. Sales fell 11 percent to $8.3 million last year and the business recorded a net loss of $313,000 compared with a profit of $868,000 a year earlier. Storm has 10 stores selling women's clothing, according to its website.

In Hallenstein's 2017 annual report, chair Warren Bell said Storm's sales "struggled to maintain momentum during the year due to tough trading in a highly competitive segment of the market. This has not been helped by major infrastructure works around three key Auckland stores which has had a material impact on trade."

"A review of the brand was carried out towards the end of the year and the decision made to close the Storm store in Australia to focus on the brand in New Zealand, this has seen trading improve," he said. "Christchurch CBD store opened this year replacing the Christchurch Container Store and a new store was opened in Queenstown. There were also one-off costs associated with the closure of Storm Australia."

Its shares fell 4.2 percent to $4.60 and have gained 37 percent in the past 12 months while the S&P/NZX 50 Index rose 19 percent.

(BusinessDesk)

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