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E-commerce

Catch website launches in New Zealand

Catch Group has taken its first major step across the pond, launching its own website in New Zealand as part of a bid to substantially increase its reach.

The website, Catchoftheday.co.nz, was launched this morning but was online yesterday, featuring around 30,000 products sourced from Catch’s Australian distribution centre.

Catch said the move is a logical extension for the business, after 7-8 months trading successfully on Kiwi marketplace Trade Me, although co-founder Gabby Leibovich said there would be no staff or DC established in NZ yet.

“There’s nothing permanent, not a single employee … we see it as simply another state in Australia, there’s 4.5 million customers there,” he told Internet Retailing.

Leibovich left the door open to expanding further into NZ if ongoing trading justified further investment, saying that international expansion has been a valuable learning curve for Catch in terms of bedding down infrastructure for international shipping.

He declined to comment on whether NZ expansion was a forbearer to other international markets for Catch, saying that the new platform was consistent with its strategy over the last 12-18 months to increase its pool of customers through things like its Pumpkin Patch acquisition and recent Mamamia Shopping partnership.

“We know we are good at logistics and sourcing products, but now all we need to do is show our products to more customers,” Leibovich said.

Catch CEO Nati Harpaz offered an agnostic take on expansion in a media statement on the NZ expansion, saying that Catch’s strategy is to explore growth opportunities wherever they present themselves.

“We will continue to explore growth opportunities that allow us to offer our customers more choice and value. Whether that is through launching new online stores, expanding into new markets or through strategic partnerships,” Harpaz said.

 

The New Zealand platform will be functionally similar to Catch’s Australian website and will operate under the same daily deals model, although Leibovich said a separate merchandise team will likely be brought on to manage the platform as differences between the markets present themselves.

“I’m guessing we’ll have a different person merchandising it, but it will take a while to figure out what the consumer wants,” Leibovich said.

Leibovich left the door open to expanding Catch’s recently announced partnership with Optus on mobile phone plans to Kiwi customers, revealing that Catch is also considering expanding into other service verticals.

“We’re looking at other services,” he said, declining to go into detail.

Nati Harpaz is the chairman of Octomedia, Internet Retailing’s publisher.

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