Michael Bleby Reporter

Michael writes on emerging markets, architecture and engineering. He has served as a correspondent in Tokyo, London and Johannesburg and has written for Reuters, the Financial Times, The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald.

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Catchoftheday stays in local waters

Published 29 January 2013 12:08, Updated 31 January 2013 00:40

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Catchoftheday stays in local waters

‘We don’t understand the Asian market,’ Catch Group co-founder Gabby Leibovich says. Photo: Luis Ascui

Online retail success story CatchOfTheDay.com.au, which owns the Mumgo site targeting mothers with babies, is not taking the idea of expanding overseas seriously “at this stage”, as it still sees ample room to grow in the Australian market, co-founder Gabby Leibovich says.

“We don’t understand the Asian market,” Leibovich told BRW on Tuesday. “We don’t understand the American market. We have a great understanding and reputation in the local market. We want to keep pushing that area. We still believe more than half the people in Australia haven’t heard about us, so there’s still room for growth.”

Leibovich, who with brother Hezi debuted in 178th place on the BRW Rich 200 last year with a joint valuation of $240 million, made the comments after Mumgo founders Elise and Dan Gold told The Australian that expanding into Asia was “a longer-term idea” and something it would consider after starting to source products from Asian manufacturers. CatchOfTheDay.com.au bought Mumgo, previously called Ladybub, in July.

The group, which now operates six divisions, is likely to expand its sales 50 per cent on last year’s $250 million in the year to June, Leibovich says.

While playing down any present interest in overseas markets, Leibovich says international online sales do work with fashion – which both Mumgo and CatchOfTheDay.com.au sell.

“The main issue with overseas is the shipping,” he says. “You can eliminate all products that probably weigh more than 2 kilograms because they would be more expensive to ship. For that reason, if you follow the market, fashion is doing well because fashion is light. To ship a dress from the UK or US to Australia is manageable but to ship a toaster would not be worthwhile.”

CatchOfTheDay.com.au moved to a 4000 square metre office complex in Mulgrave, south-east Melbourne, in December. The administration for all its businesses, including scoopon.com.au, groceryrun.com.au, vinomofo.com.au and online food ordering and delivery service eatnow.com.au – which it acquired in October – will be based at the new office, which was formerly the adidas Australia head office. There will be a total of 240 staff.

The company has also moved its CatchOfTheDay.com.au warehouse operation from Braeside, outside Melbourne, to a 25,000 square metre site in Truganina on the city’s western edge and moved its GroceryRun business from its 4000 square metre site in Moorabbin into the 16,000 square metre site in Braeside vacated by CatchOfTheDay.

“We’ve got lots of routes for growth,” Leibovich says. He declined to comment on reports that the company is considering a public listing.

“We’re leaving the whole IPO process out of the media. We mentioned it’s one of our options, but so is a private sale, and so is continuing as we are, growing the business.”

The Leibovich brothers entered the Rich 200 list last year after selling a 40 per cent stake in their company to a consortium of investors that included James Packer and Chase Coleman’s Tiger Global Management, valuing the Catch business at $200 million.

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