Billabong is an Australian clothing retailer and surf company. It also sells many other products like backpacks and watches. It also sells skateboarding and snowboarding products with different brand-names. It was founded by Gordon and Rena Merchant in 1973 and became an iconic Australia brand. The name is derived from an Aboriginal word ‘bilban’, which is defined as a creek that only runs during the rainy season.
The company suffered a decline since 2008, and from 2012 was involved in many long bidding wars. In 2014 the company became profitable again by using a corporate turnaround strategy.
The brand was founded on the Gold Coast in Queensland. The founder started out by designing and selling board shorts for local surf shops. The Gold Coast is a famous surfing location, and so it made sense to sell product designed for surfers and their lifestyle.
The brand began to collapse in 2012 when trading of Billabong shares was halted at the request of the company due the reports of a large-sum takeover by a US private equity firm. Billabong then went under a major restructuring with up to 150 stores closing down. This was a massive collapse in which over 400 jobs were lost.
There was a long series of strange financial backroom negotiations and different offers being made and rejected. The company and brand was in turmoil, and many Australians were left scratching their heads about the whole thing.
Regardless of this hardship, the brand is still fondly remembered by Australians as something iconic. The brand would sponsor many different sports teams and many surfers have been ambassadors for the brand.
As you can see, Billabong is clearly a very amazing brand that is part of Australian history. Lots of Australians love Billabong and own many products with the brand name on them.