A popular bra shop has gone bust leaving 50 staff out of work just before Christmas. The tragic story behind its demise can now be revealed.
A popular bra shop has gone bust leaving 50 staff out of work just before Christmas. The tragic story behind its demise can now be revealed.

50 jobs lost and $2m owing as lingerie retailer goes bust

An iconic Brisbane-based lingerie business for plus-sized women has gone bust owing creditors $2m and leaving more than 50 people out of work just before Christmas.

Big Girls Don't Cry Anymore, founded in 1992 by Karen Mason, operated from a shopfront at Virginia selling bras and swimwear for women sized up to 36.

Ms Mason, who describes herself as well-endowed, said she started the business because she was sick of the "frustration and tears" caused by the way that larger women were ignored by mainstream lingerie manufacturers.

Liquidator Jarvis Archer, a partner at Revive Financial, said that while the business had expanded in recent years Ms Mason's husband Keith died in May.

"Since this time, Ms Mason had sought to continue trading the business with the support of her staff but she could no longer continue to do so," said Mr Archer.

"As with any high-growth business, it faced some challenges in maintaining cashflow and profitability. While various innovations in 2020 brought many new customers to the business, it also faced stock supply delays from overseas due to COVID."

Karen Mason
Karen Mason

He said he was urgently seeking interest from potential purchasers of the business, which employed 33 casual and 20 full time staff, with Grays Online engaged to assist with the sale. Unsecured creditors are owed approximately $2.2m.

"The business has become an iconic brand with a strong and loyal workforce who we would love to keep in their jobs," Mr Archer said.

"The business presents an attractive opportunity to the right buyer and has had strong sales growth over several years, an extensive database of loyal customers and a knowledgeable and committed team of staff."

He said the company had spent the past year developing what is Australia's first lingerie app, ready for Apple and Google release, as well as investing in a sophisticated e-commerce platform with a "virtual fitting room." The company had about 100,000 customers and turned over more than $6 million in sales this year.

"Ms Mason started trading the business in 1992, importing a range of bras and lingerie from overseas to suit a more diverse group of women," said Mr Archer.

Originally published as 50 jobs lost, $2m owing as lingerie retailer goes bust


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