IPO of iconic Australian retailer

The challenge:

fowlstone was charged with the role of advising a major national Australian retailer on its IPO, at a time when the prevailing retail environment was incredibly turbulent. While having a high profile, the business had experienced significant financial challenges only a few years before listing which had been widely publicised.

fowlstone’s challenge was to develop and execute a communications strategy that would position the company as a strong IPO candidate. The task was to clearly articulate to investors, both directly and through the media, the changes that had been made within the business since its well-publicised troubles, and to demonstrate the strategy for growth that was being executed successfully.

fowlstone’s approach:

Given the turbulent retail environment, the communications strategy aimed to position the company as a ‘non-discretionary’ retailer in order to demonstrate the ongoing strength of demand for its products.

In order to allay fears around the company’s stability in light of its recent challenges, the fowlstone team leveraged the company’s iconic status including its 80 year history, to demonstrate longevity and thereby establishing a notion of security in the mind of the retail investor.

fowlstone developed a strategy which focussed heavily on the company’s iconic brands to simplify the investment narrative and build interest in the IPO.

The results:

The result of the communications program around the IPO was widespread and favourable media coverage, which helped to drive demand in what was a significantly oversubscribed offer. Additionally, the high profile of the IPO marketing also translated into improved sales performance at store level.

Any concerns over the past performance of the business were contained to key factors that drove this underperformance, and the media coverage succeeded in demonstrating the momentum achieved in the turnaround of the business.