Woolies Snap Up EZi Etailer

Written by Oonagh Reidy     23/08/2013 | 11:52 | Category: CONTENT & DOWNLOADS

Multi-channeling is Ezi: retail king nab pure e-tailer for $350m, grows options

Woolworths has purchased etailer EZibuy for an estimated $350 million, it said yesterday. 

The New Zealand based clothing and homewares sites operates online, catalogues and contact centres across ANZ. 

Woolies CEO Grant O Brien said the move was part of its move to grow the multichannels, saying the retail mammoth was "very impressed"  with the calibre of EziBuy's business, admitting "we can learn a lot from each other."

"Direct to consumer retail is a critical part of the multi channel option" he said in a statement. Woolworths is also seeking to learn from EziBuy's direct-to-customer logistics at Palmerston North and apply these learnings across its business. 

Ezibuy, with over half a million customers across ANZ has a history of profitable growth, recording over NZ$200 million sales over the past financial year. 

The transaction is worth around $350m. Ezibuy is owned by founding shareholders Peter and Gerard Gillespie and Catalyst Investment Managers. 

Woolies Penny Winn, Director of Group Retail Services  says "the combination of its retail network, EziBuy's direct selling expertise, customer bases will provide a "unique competitive advantage."

EziBuy Chief Executive, Simon West, the etailer is "delighted to have the backing of Woolworths as we embark on the next phase of our growth."

Woolworths shares rose 0.75% today to $33.76.