OUR HISTORY

1988

From the boot of a Ford Bronco, 18 year old Nigel Austin makes his first denim jacket sale at the Beckley Market in Geelong.

1991

The first Cotton On store opens in East Geelong followed by a second store in Malop Street. It’s a family affair, with Nigel’s cousins working the shop floor.

1994

We begin our expansion journey, opening our first store in another state – Western Australia.

2004

At a time when Nigel and his friends and family are struggling to find fun, quality kids’ fashion, Cotton On KIDS is born. The brand launches mere months after the idea is first floated.

2006

We jump the Tasman and open our first international doors in Queensgate Shopping Centre, New Zealand. Back home in Australia, the 100th store opens at Knox City.

2007

It’s a year of firsts. A casual chat between leaders on a snow trip results in the launch of Cotton On Body; factorie opens its first stores in New South Wales; and Singapore becomes our second international market.  After a donation is made to finish a healthcare centre in the village of Mannya, Uganda, we officially launch the Cotton On Foundation.

2008

With a name inspired by Dorothy’s red slippers, footwear label Rubi is launched. In the same year, the doors open to a Hong Kong Cotton On store.

2009

Quirky gift and stationery destination Typo launches, giving us the chance to engage customers a little differently to before. We open our 500th store and there’s more international expansion as we take on Malaysia and the USA. In true Cotton On Group style, the decision to enter the world’s biggest retail market is made at a cricket match.

2010

Cotton On opens in Dubai, our first location in the United Arab Emirates.

2011

Cotton On opens in South Africa, which will go on to be one of our biggest and fastest growing markets.

2012

The Group hits 1,000 stores, launches in the Philippines and Thailand, and Cotton On KIDS and Typo open in the USA.

2013

Cotton On opens in Qatar, Indonesia, Lebanon, Oman and Saudi Arabia. As our team reaches 19,000 people, an in-house learning platform is launched, called COG Uni. We acquire iconic youth brand, Supré.

2014

We open headquarters all over the world! Cotton On Group officially launches country offices in South Africa, Asia, USA and Brazil, at the same time as our first Brazilian store opens in São Paulo.

2015

The team in South Africa lead Cotton On’s launch in Namibia, the first time an expansion project is managed from a regional office. This year also marks the official launch of our New Zealand headquarters in Auckland.

2016

Our 1,500th store opens and Typo becomes the Group’s first UK citizen, launching online to start with and then opening a store in London. Our office in Malaysia is officially opened.

2017

Supre moves from Geelong to Melbourne, with an office opening at Chadstone – the Southern Hemisphere’s shopping mecca. The Cotton On Foundation pledges R100 million to support child education projects in South Africa.