Surf’s up, share prices down: Australian surf-wear label Billabong was once an essential of the cool, coastal lifestyle and a global retail success story worth, according to some analysts, up to $5 billion. After a series of questionable strategic decisions in a tough retail climate, this week the company was subject to a takeover offer of just $287 million, the share price hitting a record low of less that 54 cents. But is Australia’s surfing culture also changing at rapid pace, making it tricky for the big brands? Surfing journalist Stuart Nettle believes the market is now more fractured and complex.
And, Margaret Thatcher’s influence on music, film, TV and fashion spanned three decades; is it still being felt? Two veteran observers of the Thatcher era, Lynden Barber and Stuart Coupe look back at the highs and lows.
Stuart Nettle is Editor of surfing website Swellnet.
Lynden Barber is a freelance film and music writer.
Stuart Coupe runs Laughing Outlaw, an Independent Record and Management Company, and has been a music writer.