Strategy

Smart50 winner AussieCommerce launches fresh produce deals website

Yolanda Redrup /

Online retail company AussieCommerce has expanded its offering, launching a new website catering to food lovers looking for premium quality meat, fresh produce and wine.

The Gourmet will allow people to purchase premium quality goods online and have them delivered to their homes at a time which is convenient to them.

AussieCommerce, founded by Adam Schwab and Jeremy Same, ranked ninth in last year’s Smart50 awards and is the brand behind sale sites Cudo, Luxury Escapes, TheHome, Pop, Deals.com.au and Ouffer.

In 2012-13 the company turned over $43 million and in the first six months of this year it’s already exceeded this figure, recording $60 million in sales.

On track for a $120 million turn over in FY14, the company has a record of strong growth and it doesn’t intend to stop now, and as Schwab tells SmartCompany, there are plans to open more sites.

“We’re always careful with what we do, but we are finding new verticals. We were originally a group buying site, but now we pivoted away from that to retail sites. We’re just trying to build on what we do well and use the resources within the group,” he says.

“It will be a product brand, we’re pretty excited about it. We’ve got a great team, we’re hopeful and it hasn’t been done in Australia before.”

Schwab couldn’t share many details about the new site, but said there are 10 people working on it.

“We’ve tried to follow the example of Catch of the Day and roll out new verticals with the skills we already have,” he says.

When establishing The Gourmet, AussieCommerce refreshed the offering of a website called The Meat Merchant.

“The original genesis for the site came when we purchased Cudo and it was running a site called The Meat Merchant. We rejigged the brand to focus more on premium products,” Schwab says.

“The Meat Merchant was doing this, but it didn’t come across to customers. The meat is premium chef-hat quality and we have the same suppliers as the top restaurants, but we also have other fresh produce.”

Schwab says there are other boutique-style, niche sites which offer a similar product, but none which do it nationally.

“The challenge is getting the logistics right to make sure it stays fresh and you can deliver it. We deliver it in an Esky, which keeps it fresh for up to five hours, but you can also choose the time of day for the delivery to come to ensure you’re home,” he says.

AussieCommerce has two million subscribers and around 150 employees. Its turnover has increased from $10 million in 2010-11 to $24 million in 2012-12 to $43 million in the last financial year.

Schwab says he made the decision to move away from group-buying sites because there wasn’t room for growth.

“The group buying market is limited. We still do it, but we’re very discerning about who we run. Our Sea World deal was the biggest in global history last year, but it’s not the focus of our growth,” he says.

In 2014, Schwab predicts AussieCommerce’s homewares retail site and its luxury travel sites will perform best.

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