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Thrills fashion label is sold to Universal Store for $50million

How three Byron Bay locals turned a shared love of vintage motorcycles into a fashion brand that landed them a $50million windfall

  • Three Australians from Byron Bay have sold fashion label Thrills for $50million
  • Universal Store purchased the brand after it successfully entered the US market
  • The first Thrills store was opened in Byron Bay’s main street in 2015
  • They have since opened another seven stores in Australia and one in Japan 

Three Byron Bay locals have turned a decade-long fashion project into a $50million windfall after selling their brand to an Australian retail powerhouse. 

Married couple Tabitha and Brooke McGregor joined with friend Ryan Collins to established their business ‘Thrills’ 11 years ago – first setting out to sell vintage motorcycles but quickly turning the brand into a thriving fashion label. 

Australian retail giant Universal Store has now purchased the brand just seven months after Thrills was introduced to the US market.

Australian retail giant Universal Stores purchased the brand Thrills, just seven months after the brand was introduced to the US market (product shot pictured)

The first Thrills store opened in 2015 in Byron's Bay's main street. Now there are seven more outlets in Australia and one in Japan (product shot pictured)

The first Thrills store opened in 2015 in Byron’s Bay’s main street. Now there are seven more outlets in Australia and one in Japan (product shot pictured)

The first Thrills store opened in Byron’s Bay’s main street in 2015. 

There are now seven more outlets in Australia and one in Japan.

Two more stores are also set to open by the end of the year with the brand generating $34.6million worth of sales in the 2022 financial year.

The deal with Universal Store is worth $50million – including $17.5 million in cash and $17.5 million in shares – with the deal to be completed by the end of the year. 

Tabitha (pictured) and Brooke McGregor - a married couple with two children - established Thrills 11 years ago with Ryan Collins, based on a shared love of vintage motorcycles

Tabitha (pictured) and Brooke McGregor – a married couple with two children – established Thrills 11 years ago with Ryan Collins, based on a shared love of vintage motorcycles

The founding trio said the brand has transformed alongside Byron Bay, the town it was born out of.

‘The evolution of Byron Bay has been a whirlwind in and of itself; growing from a small and idyllic coastal town to a world-renowned destination and epicentre for now-global brands, Thrills included,’ they told Ragtrader.

Universal Store CEO Alice Barbery said Thrills was the highest-selling third-party brand in its business.

‘I am delighted to cement our partnership with the three founders of Thrills. In Thrills, Brooke, Tabitha and Ryan have built an iconic youth fashion brand and have a proven capability to deliver products our customers love,’ she said.

‘We are excited by the opportunities a closer partnership can deliver in both product and brand development as well as further expansion of Thrills direct-to-consumer channel.’

Sales through Universal Store represented about 26 per cent of Thrills’ business, making up about 9 per cent of Universal Store’s 2022 financial year sales.

Sales through Universal Store represented about 26 per cent of Thrills' business, making up about 9 per cent of Universal Store's 2022 financial year sales (Thrills product shot pictured)

Sales through Universal Store represented about 26 per cent of Thrills’ business, making up about 9 per cent of Universal Store’s 2022 financial year sales (Thrills product shot pictured) 

The trio last year said the brand had been ‘one hell of a ride’.

‘With nothing but a mutual love of vintage motorcycles, we gave birth to our first business idea; importing bikes from the USA and Japan,’ they told Ragtrader.

‘With our first shipment of bikes due to arrive in 2011, Brooke and Tabitha reverted to their fashion roots to work on a small T-shirt collection, and the rest is history.

‘Once launched, the T-shirts took Byron Bay and surrounds by storm, and almost 10 years on, Thrills has evolved into a culture-defining fashion label, fuelled by a passion for music, art and the way of life that encompasses the vintage Harley’s that are customised to this day.’

Thrills focuses on sustainability and this has been shown through switching most of their denim range to organic cotton and introducing hemp.

The label also recently launched an unbleached collection with no dye or chemicals and has a goal to use only sustainable fabrics by the end of 2022.

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Read more at DailyMail.co.uk