Fashion Industry Report: CUE Company

History of Cue

Cue was founded in 1968 by Rod Levi’s, he was inspired by the fashion in London, bringing a new take on fashion in Australia. (, 2018) “Cue introduced trend driven and ambitious styles in-store each week.”-(, 2018) Cue has remained being completely owned by the Levi’s family for 50 years and is one of the last and largest Australian fashion brands that still has a majority of its manufacturing on-shore in Australia. (Financial Review, 2018)

Cue works closely with its manufacturers and is “accredited with ethical clothing Australia” (, 2018) guaranteeing that all workers are being payed correctly and working in a safe work environment. It was in 1968 that Levi’s opened the first cue store in Sydney’s strand arcade following with 4 other stores being opened within its first year. (Australian Fashion Review, 2018)

The Cue company

The Cue company also owns the sub brand ‘Veronika Maine which was established in 1998 which is a younger youthful brand but still has the classic sophisticated cue style. In 2013 Cue became a shareholder in Australian brand ‘Dion Lee’, “as part of a strategic partnership to develop and accelerate the brands domestic and international growth”.-(, 2018) Cue would be considered as a forward integrated company as the business controls the production right through to distribution and is majority AUSTRALIAN MADE.

Cue’s Marketing strategies

Social media

As most fashion businesses cue has a variety of social media platforms that is used for marketing and direct interaction with customers. (, 2018) The main source they use is Instagram and face book which are updated daily with new styles, shoots and news within the company. They have also recently introduced a direct shopping link on their pictures on Instagram, this is used by simply clicking onto the garment you like and the pricing and a link to buy it will appear. (Instagram, 2018)

Cue’s website

Cue also has their website that is constantly being updated with new garments and products. It also has different links to teach people about the company and its history. (, 2018)

Editorial shoots and magazine endorsement

Cue does constant editorial shoots for their garments and are regularly seen in different fashion magazines such as Marie Clair and vogue. (, 2018)


Over the years Cue has had many ‘ strengths and some weaknesses’ impacting the brands viability and profitability, with strengths obviously being greater as the brand has continued to develop and flourish to this day for 50 years. (, 2018)

Cue has a ‘low staff turn-over’ (Financial Review, 2018)“most of the production is outsourced to 15 Australian clothing manufacturers, 10 of whom have been working for the company for 20 years”-(Financial Review, 2018) keeping the business a reliable and functioning brand.

Another strength being that the company is an all Australian business increasing profit as consumers look towards buying ethical Australian products. (, 2018) “it’s more than money that drives the decision to stay local. There is pride in Cue being able to hang the ‘made in Australia/ethical clothing’ swing ticket on a garment”-(, 2018)

Cue had been able to keep up with new technologies, trends and adapt accordingly all whilst still keeping true to the brand and maintaining its aesthetic. (Inside Retail, 2018)

Cue is able to test styles before producing large amounts. With Cue’s manufacturing being based in Australia (, 2018) “A style can be evolved and trialled in-store before being committed to volume production at an efficiency level.”-(, 2018) Not only does this improve their profit margin but it saves wastage on less popular garments.

Cue’s Australian ethical rating: (, 2018)

Weaknesses There aren’t a lot of obvious weaknesses within Cue due to their ability to adapt to the market needs and stability as can be seen by their longevity however some weaknesses are:

Inconsistent sales. Over a period of time cue experienced a constant change of their sales (Financial Review, 2018) “up 20 percent one week, down 2 percent the next”. (Financial Review, 2018)

Due to the costs involved with an Australian made brand their product prices can be higher than similar brands such as Portman’s and country road. (Financial Review, 2018)

Cue’s brand status“Cue occupies a niche between high-street fashion and high-end designer wear’(Financial Review, 2018). This has been fairly consistent throughout the evolution of the brand and has always been what customers expect from Cue’s designs. Part of this is also the use of Australian textiles and designers creating a quality product. (, 2018) Over the decades Cue has responded to the trends of the time with the brand initially beginning with style ideas inspired by London and the frenzy of the Beatles in the 60s. (, 2018) “since then we’ve danced through disco, worn the power suits of the 80’s, embraced 90’s minimalism and immersed ourselves in 00’s luxury”.-(, 2018) Economic conditions and consumer habits Economic conditions throughout Australia have remained fairly stable over the last few years, although there has been a gradual decline in retail sales across all areas, particularly in clothing, footwear and accessories. (FocusEconomics | Economic Forecasts from the World's Leading Economists, 2018)

Because of the decline within the clothing sector brands such as Cue have had to seek to improve their retail sales by their online presence. In doing this they have developed their websites to offer new services such as after pay, click-and-collect and most recently 3 hr delivery, shoppable screens and style finder. This has come about due to consumer demands moving away from physical retail premises to online services. (Inside Retail, 2018)

After pay

After pay is a way for customers to buy a product but not have to pay up front, instead they can pay in fortnightly instalments over 4 payments, therefor encouraging consumers to spend more money. (, 2018)


Click and collect makes 30-40 percent of Cues present online sales and allows consumers to peruse the website in the comfort of their home and save on postage by picking up their products in store. (Inside Retail, 2018)

3 hr delivery

A recent innovation to Cue’s online retail site was in January 2018 when cue partnered with Shippit to launch its 3 hr delivery option. In doing this Cue has become one of Australia’s most competitive fashion brands through their online presence, constantly evolving using technology to enhance their business and innovation practises. (Inside Retail, 2018)

Shoppable screens

Another form of technology that cue has adopted in February 2018 is shoppable screens in store. This technology allows customers to view and shop the whole collection including items that might not generally be in the store they are at. (Internet Retailing, 2018)

Style finder

Style finder is another innovative technology that is being used by cue where you can take a picture of an outfit you like, upload it to their site and it will find you garments that they sell accordingly to the outfit you photographed.(, 2018) As more competition grows and technology advances rapidly cue is keeping up with the consumer demand and continuing to grow their brand through these advances.

Cue’s brand positioning

Cues brand is a high end designer wear brand that purely designs for a niche market of women’s wear. (Financial Review, 2018) Some of its competitors are marc’s, SABA and country road who have similar brands and sell to the same market. “Cue differentiates itself from the competition by using fabrics sourced from top mills in Europe and traditional design processes, with a focus on fit and cutting-edge style.”-(Financial Review, 2018) The brands price range differs between garments for example basics such as shirts, skirts and tops start from $120-300 AUD where are tailored jackets, coats, dresses and pants start at roughly $200- $500 AUD.(, 2018) Product offerings: women’s wear: dresses, pants, tops, skirts, coats, jackets, knitwear, shirts, jumpsuits, wear to work, suit yourself and accessories.(, 2018)

My opinion on CueOverall I believe that Cue is an iconic staple brand that represents the Australian fashion industry very well. It has stayed under the same ownership for 50 years now and has kept its design aesthetics, staying true to being a wholly Australian owned brand in all aspects from resourcing to production. Cue has constantly found new ways to improve their brand through developments in technology, innovative designs and keeping up with consumer needs.They are a great business model insuring their workers are valued and justly rewarded for their efforts as the Australian ethical guidelines are an important part of their practice.

03 December 2019
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