Country Road is an Australian clothing retailer, with 56 freestanding stores and 77 department store concessions. It is traded on the Australian Stock Exchange, with South African company Woolworths Holdings owning 88%.
The company produces women's clothing, footwear & accessories; men's clothing, footwear & accessories; children's clothing; and homewares. In 1981, Myer purchased Country Road, but was sold in 1987-88 and listed on the share market. In 1984, Country Road began producing menswear, then in 1986, it began producing accessories. In 1988, it expanded into homewares and the American market. In 1998, Woolworths Holdings Limited acquired a controlling interest in the company. By 2000-01, Country Road had closed its American stores and started producing childrenswear.
The company relaunched in July 2004 as a company that has higher volume sales and lower product prices. In the years 2006-07, Country Road has reduced its prices by 25%, resulting in a 70% rise in sales volume. Prior to the re-launch, Country Road was a retailer with a premium price and a strong brand identity. The current head designer for Country Road is Sophie Holt (previously chief designer for women's fashion chain store Witchery).
Its head office is located in Richmond, Victoria (Australia), while the Australian flagship store is located in South Yarra, Victoria. The Northern District head office is located above the flagship store of New South Wales, in Pitt Street Mall.
Beginning 2003, Country Road entered into an exclusive agreement with Myer department stores. Under this agreement, Country Road agreed to sell exclusively to Myer and not to its main rival, David Jones. It also included joint marketing and in-store visual merchandising. This arrangement ended in January 2007 when Country Road became a concession store in David Jones and selected Myer stores.
Country Road has a customer loyalty scheme, which enables members to receive special offers and early invitations to sales. It was changed in 2007 to require members to spend a minimum amount annually to receive benefits.
There were also stores in Boston and other cities in the United States, as recent as 2000 or later, which closed due to poor sales.