Despite the hype around online commerce, bricks-and-mortar retailers still have huge advantages over their web-based counterparts, says the head of an internet shopping club.
Entrepreneur Daniel Jarosch is the co-founder of brandsExclusive, which offers members up to 70 per cent discount on products such as clothes and footwear.
BrandsExclusive soft-launched in New Zealand in the middle of October and Jarosch said the club had already gained more than 50,000 members.
Jarosch launched the online business in 2009 across the Tasman and more than two million people have joined. While the opportunities for e-commerce were huge, Jarosch told the Herald that walk-in shops had a lot going for them
"Bricks and mortar have so many advantages; everybody keeps forgetting about them because e-commerce is, sort of, the sexy story. People forget that brands are built in bricks and mortar. Experiences are built in bricks and mortar so much more than online; instant gratification, trying things on, having that experience is all a major advantage. If you have a wedding on the weekend and it's a Thursday and you need a tie you don't go buy online," he said.
"This is what people forget ... I think the whole doom of bricks and mortar is not there."
Although this time of the year was busy, its shipping times meant the company did not experience a last-minute Christmas rush, he said.
BrandsExclusive does not buy and then on-sell any of the products it offers its customers. Instead it strikes deals with retailers, pushes products to members of the club on its website and through social networks and then takes a commission on each sale.
APN News & Media - publishers of the Herald - bought an 82 per cent stake in the company this year for A$36 million.
Under the deal, APN pays a further A$30 million if brandsExclusive reaches 2013 earnings targets.