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Specialty Fashion found aged surprise when it bought Rivers

Specialty Fashion thought it was getting a bargain when it struck a deal to buy value fashion chain Rivers from founder Philip Goodman for just AUD4 million (USD2.8m) two years ago.

But when Specialty finally got the keys to the 28-year-old retailer it found more than it had bargained for – 8.6 million pieces of aged stock sitting in warehouses.

Specialty closed Rivers’ three warehouses in Ballarat in September with the loss of 130 jobs, shifting distribution to Sydney. It has also closed Rivers’ Melbourne head office, rebuilt planning, buying and marketing teams and has overhauled the product range, marketing and store formats.