E-commerce group Catch today confirms its plans to expand offline and open its first retail outlet by the end of the year.
The decision comes off the back of the group’s recent launch of the Catch marketplace as well its luxury travel offering, Bon Voyage, as it looks to ramp up expansion and deepen its offer to its five million plus customers.
Catch is currently seeking a 1500-2000 square meter commercial property in Melbourne, which will represent the entire stock Catch has available online, as well as well as new items and store specific promotions and shopping events not available online.
The store will be modelled on the group’s flagship online store Catch.com.au, offering shoppers the same brands and prices that Catch.com.au is known for, but in a physical retail environment.
“At Catch Group we are always working on a number of projects and initiatives at any given time. So, to make things interesting and even more hectic (just the way we like it), we thought why not explore the possibility of a retail store?” Catch’s founder Gabby Leibovich told Power Retail.
Leibovich explains that a physical presence also represents a solid branding initiative for the company, allowing it to interact closely with thousands of customers in person.
“A retail store will allow us to get closer to our customers and really hear from them first hand about what they like and what they want. A retail store is also a great branding initiative and it certainly would be nice to have thousands of customers interact with the Catch brand in a physical environment and be able to actually touch our amazing deals.”
Coinciding with the launch of the retail store, Catch will also introduce a range of new delivery options such as click and collect in-store, and shop in-store with home delivery, providing shoppers with more choice and flexibility when it comes to delivery.
The expansion offline is a natural extension for the retailer – the move will allow it to target a new customer. “Online retail still represents a small percentage of overall retail sales. Having a physical space is still the best way to acquire new customers and then, over time, migrate them to our online stores,” says the retailer.
“In our view, there is no online or offline, it’s just one retail, as such, it’s important to be where our customers are and provide them with the choice to shop where and when they want. Whether that is online, on a mobile device via our apps, or in-store.”
Pending the success of the roll out of Catch’s first retail store in Melbourne, the company plans to expand its retail footprint further with additional stores around the country.