Portmans started over 60 years ago and evolved into what we know today. Now in 2010, Portmans are always thinking about what you want in a wardrobe. Giving you great quality in the hottest new looks is very important to Portmans.
The Bloom family established Portmans in the 1940’s. Joseph Bloom and his sons were initially manufacturers, supplying women’s fashion to the retail market. It was in 1946 that they opened their first retail store in Victoria’s Swanston Street, Melbourne City. The Blooms were careful to set prices in the low to medium range – affordable fashion was the key to their foray into retail.
The Portmans brand started to grow in the 1960’s within Victoria and expanded to become, in the early 80’s, the national chain it is today.
In the 1980’s Portmans introduced the advertising positioning statement ‘Get the Look’ and a logo that reflected the time. It was then that the ‘Portmans Girl’ strategy was introduced, based on having one model/ girl represent the brand values – femininity, value, reliability, friendliness, success, youth, fashion and fun. The first Portmans Girl was Alison Brae, who remained so for about two or three years. From here Portmans changed the model/ girl every 12 to 18 months.
So who is she now? The Portmans girl is fun, sexy, energetic and confident. She knows good value and how to shop for it. We like to think of her as ‘forever 20’ at every age.
The year 2000 also saw the update of the Portmans website and e-port, their online email club, was introduced. December 2001 saw the introduction of the “Into Portmans” campaign, which accompanied a push on producing the hottest items as quickly as possible for our customers – something new in the store every week.
In May 2002, Just Jeans holdings acquired the Portmans brand and retail stores. The Just Group now have an annual turnover exceeding $700 million. The group operates over 900 retail stores in Australia, New Zealand and South Africa and employs over 6,000 people. The company has grown from humble family beginnings and is now part of one of Australia’s fastest growing retail corporations.