Wesfarmers takes another slice of Australian retail

WESFARMERS, which owns Coles and central Queensland's Curragh mine among other assets, will be allowed to take over the owner of classic Australian clothes brand King Gee.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission on Thursday announced it would not oppose Wesfarmers' proposed takeover of Pacific Brands' The Workwear Group.

Workwear owns retail outlets across the country, and the clothes brands King Gee, Hard Yakka and Stubbies, and the takeover would pit Wesfarmers' Kmart and Bunnings against its competitor Pacific Brands.

ACCC chairman Rod Sims said Wesfarmers would still be forced to compete with existing retailers and actual and "potential" imports from Asia in the work wear market.

Mr Sims said a public review run by the competition regulator found that "brand loyalty" to the work wear brands had diminished in recent years.

- APN NEWSDESK



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