Founders: Tiew King, 50 Wai Hong, 26
Head Office: Victoria
Industry: Retail trade
An increase in the trend for online retailing made Tiew King and Wai Hong think there was an opportunity for OzHut.
Relying on King's retail experience and Wai Hong's IT knowledge they went online.
“We did not have an initial niche in mind, it was only by experimenting with a variety of products from dance shoes to gadgets on eBay did we find our winner – selling telescopes,” says King.
At the time, telescopes were a niche product with some demand and not many competitors in the market.
It only took one-and-a-half years for OZHut to turnover $1.5 million and now four years later, OzScopes has grown into one of Australia's largest astronomy gear stores, and is OZHut's best performing online store.
In this time, OZHut has expanded into 12 other stores and now turns over $4.2 million, with the aim of continual expansion into even more stores, focusing on targeting niche markets.
“The most challenging part in starting up our business was in winning over sceptical suppliers,” says King.
The issue was that as a small player OZHut had no big names to throw around and neither did the business have a lot of cash.
“As such, stronger brand name suppliers were highly reluctant to provide us with anything at all,” says OZHut.
“However, we learnt that if we got on board some of the smaller suppliers and built up some traffic by leveraging their products we could rope in the other big suppliers one at a time.”