Mass redundancies for Diva

 

DivaBrett Blundy’s retail darling, Diva, has quietly made a chunk of its Australian head office staff redundant.

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Inside Retail PREMIUM can exclusively report that the fast fashion jewellery retailer this month let go a large number of corporate staff.

Diva’s local staff have been directed to not speak to the media, including those in its customer service centre.

Nicole Noye, CEO of Diva’s Australian wing, is still with the company and based in Sydney.

In early 2013, the retail tycoon relocated to Singapore, and Inside Retail PREMIUM understands the Australian head office redundancies are linked to Blundy’s new Singapore focus.

It is understood that Blundy has been mulling a major operational relocation to the Asian city for the last few years.

BBRC appointed a new CEO in late 2012, Michelle Eirinberg Kluz, to manage its collective pool of more than 1,100 stores globally.

The US-educated Fulbright scholar is listed as residing in Sydney on her LinkedIn profile.

Diva has 500 stores in 20 countries, including Russia, South Africa, and key Asian markets.

It has been Australian owned and operated since its conception in 2002 by husband and wife duo, Mark and Colette Hayman.

Diva was sold to Blundy’s investment company BB Retail Capital (BBRC) in 2007 for an undisclosed sum.

Blundy – Australia’s 33rd richest person with a fortune of more than US$800 million – founded BBRC in 1980.

BBRC has significant property interests in Australian homemaker centres, and owns stakes in Dusk, Adairs, Pie Face, and Bras N Things.

It launched a second jewellery chain, Lovisa, in 2010, that targets a slightly younger market than Diva.

The Haymans launched a rival accessories brand, Colette, in 2008 that has since expanded to more than 70 stores nationally.

Blundy also has stakes in the adventure company, BridgeClimb, which facilitates treks of the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

BBRC and Diva declined comment.

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