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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TZ Limited’s Mark Bouris in race for locker real estate

Published 12 March 2013 11:41, Updated 12 March 2013 14:17

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TZ Limited’s Mark Bouris in race for locker real estate

Securing the right real-estate is the key to developing the market for lockers that allow consumers to have online purchases delivered securely and conveniently. Photo: Supplied

Securing real estate is the most important part of the race for market share in the growing business of secure lockers that cater to customers receiving online purchases, says technology company TZ Limited chairman Mark Bouris.

TZ is one of a number of players seeking to establish itself in the Australian market for delivery of online purchases, which consultancy Frost & Sullivan estimates grew almost 18 per cent in value to $16 billion last year, from $13.6 billion in 2011, and expects to rise to $26.9 billion by 2016.

The former Apprentice Australia host’s company has signed an agreement to supply lockers to six sites in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth over the next 12 months with BP franchisee AA Holdings and Australian Fuel Distributors. This adds to agreements it already has with real estate operator GPT to locate lockers at commercial and retail sites.

“The game for TZ and – by the way – anyone in this game for online locker installation business, is about real estate,” Bouris said in an interview with online radio station BRR Media. “The game here is to be able to secure interconnecting sites in as many bits of real estate as you possibly can across the countryside, allowing consumers a choice of places where they can get their online purchases delivered.”

The growth of online purchases is creating opportunities for new entrants to the delivery business. It is also forcing established operators who have traditionally served business-to-business customers to adapt their business model and expand into the consumer space.

TZ’s focus is Australia, but Bouris said that Asia offered “massive” opportunities for remote lockers which allow consumers to receive purchases they have ordered without having to wait at home for a delivery.

The company’s enthusiasm for Asia is, in fact, causing it to get ahead of itself. Last week, TZ announced to the stock exchange that a locker system it was developing with Singapore Post had “just been completed with successful installation and commissioning”. This week, however, it issued a clarification, saying that the announcement was not a joint announcement with Singapore Post and that Singapore Post did not agree with the statement.

“This statement represents the opinion of the company,” TZ said. “The company has been advised by Singapore Post that it is the view of Singapore Post that the pilot Smart Locker banks have not yet been successfully commissioned.”

The company said this meant its prediction of the roll-out of a further 50 locker banks in Singapore over the next 12 months could not be guaranteed.

“However, it is the expectation of the company that if the pilot Smart Locker banks are successfully commissioned, then Singapore Post is likely to agree to a roll-out of an additional 50 to 100 smart locker banks over the next few years,” TZ said.

TZ shares, which have risen 19 per cent over the past year, were unchanged at 16¢ in trading on Tuesday morning.

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