From the boot of a Ford Bronco, 18 year old Nigel Austin makes his first denim jacket sale at the Beckley Market in Geelong.
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.
We begin our expansion journey, opening our first store in another state – Western Australia.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Quirky gift and stationery destination Typo launches, giving us the chance to engage customers a little differently to before. We introduce our 14 Rules to Trade to guide and govern the sourcing, manufacturing and supply of our products. 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.
Cotton On opens in Dubai, our first location in the United Arab Emirates.
Cotton On opens in South Africa, which will go on to be one of our biggest and fastest growing markets.
The Group hits 1,000 stores, launches in the Philippines and Thailand, and Cotton On KIDS and Typo open in the USA.
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.
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.
The team in South Africa lead Cotton On’s launch in Namibia, the first time an expansion project is managed from a regional office. We begin our practice of publicly disclosing the Cotton On Group supplier list. This year also marks the official launch of our New Zealand headquarters in Auckland.
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. The Group becomes one of the first Australian retailers to join the Better Cotton Initiative and announce our goal of 100% sustainable cotton by 2021.
Supre moves from Geelong to Melbourne, with an office opening at Chadstone – Australia’s fashion capital. The Cotton On Foundation pledges R100 million to support child education projects in South Africa. The Group’s seven brands come together on the e-commerce site for the first time, giving our customers one-stop access to all brands in one convenient online destination.
We launch CottonOn&CO. Perks program designed to reward our customers for shopping with us. Our purpose built Avalon Distribution Centre opens to provide an improved customer experience and team members with a world-class working environment. We join Action Collaboration Transformation (ACT) to work collaboratively with fellow signatories towards a goal of achieving living wages for all workers.