Kogan, the online consumer electronics retailer, has expanded to the UK, beginning operations in the country last night Australian time.
The business will sell LED TVs and GPS units to British consumers via a new site, Kogan.co.uk. The move follows Kogan’s announcement earlier this year that it will launch in the UK.
Ruslan Kogan, founder and CEO of Kogan, says that the expansion into the UK is the most exciting development for the company since he started the business from his parent’s garage nearly five years ago.
“The UK is not an easy market to enter, but we’ve ticked all the boxes and we’re confident that UK’s smart consumers will respond well to Kogan,” he says.
“The best news for Australians is that within weeks Kogan will become a multi-million pound business, meaning increased buying power and ultimately better prices for all our customers.”
Talking to StartupSmart from London, Kogan concedes that the UK market will be tough to crack.
“We love a good challenge and the UK has the kind of competition that gets us out of bed in the morning,” he says.
“The UK has the smartest online consumers in the world – they are very savvy. They spend more per capita than the US. That was attractive to us, as well as the cultural similarities.”
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“The retailers in the UK all have an online presence. They aren’t dinosaurs like back home, but they are selling stock at the same price as in-store, effectively punishing consumers for their bricks and mortar overheads.”
“They are ripping consumers off. The trick for us is to smash the competition for price and quality, while being transparent.”
Kogan says that there will be no physical UK office and all jobs will remain in Australia. However, the business has negotiated warehouse, courier and supplier deals in the UK, befitting from a greater choice of partners compared with Australia.
He adds that there has been “a flood” of emails from consumers and the launch has generated plenty of UK media coverage.
Kogan says that he isn’t set to launch a PR campaign against established UK retailers such as Currys, as he did in Australia against Harvey Norman, but adds: “If any company spokesmen are out there lying, we will be there to correct them. We will see how the retailers here behave.”
Kogan declines to set any revenue or market share targets for the UK arm of the business but insists that further international launches will take place in the coming year.
“We want to expand our reach and our range as much as possible,” he says. “We want to increase our buying power and be a worldwide household brand. We are in the process of expanding new geographies, but I can’t say where.”