NZ sports retailer moves into shoe market

By Teuila Fuatai

Torpedo7 co-founder and co-chief executive Luke Howard-Willis. Photo / supplied
Torpedo7 co-founder and co-chief executive Luke Howard-Willis. Photo / supplied

One of New Zealand's largest online retailers is about to spread its wings into the urban shoe sales business.

Hamilton based Torpedo7 is about to to start selling shoes this week, through an offshoot urbandaddy.co.nz site. It has been building anticipation for the new streetwear site through its Facebook page, where viewers are offered a preview of what will be sold.

The move comes a week after the company, which up till now has specialised in cycling, motocross and adventure wear, signed up to work with Australian car trading site carsales.com.au.

Joint chief executive officer Luke Howard-Willis said Torpedo7 had major expansion plans for the coming year, with high hopes for a move into the Australian sportswear market.

"Carsales.com.au has extensive customer databases in Australia and a large stronghold in the market. They also have a lot of corporate structures in place which we can learn from," said Howard-Willis.

Carsales.com.au bought a 15 per cent stake in Torpedo7 and will appoint one director to its board.

Howard-Willis said Torpedo7, which had a revenue of close to $100 million last year, planned to continue all operations from its Hamilton headquarters.

"It is important to us that we keep everyone under one roof, even as we expand," he said. "Currently we are in talks with Courier Post, New Zealand Post and Australian Post to find out how we can best manage stock delivery."

Torpedo7 prides itself in its fast turnaround of customer orders, with stock delivered within one to two working days.

"Of course it will be a challenge to maintain this as we move into Australia but it is very important to our business and customers - it's is also one of the main advantages we have over our main competitors which are located in the United Kingdom and the United States," said Howard-Willis.

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