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2066 Inside Retail Weekly

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NEWS Carl Jackson, CEO of MySale Group, said the business has more than 16 million members globally, 8.5 million of whom are from Australia. "This acquisition increases our international member numbers to in excess of 20 million members internationally, 15 million of whom are Australian members," Jackson said. The three GEG websites have around 3.1 million average monthly visits, an email database of 6.5 million customers, and 512,000 unique active customers – of which only 50,000 overlap with MySale's existing active customer base, in the ANZ region, of 682,000. "With over 6.5 million customers and 512,000 unique active customers, and very little overlap of our existing member base, strategically this acquisition allows the MySale Group to substantially increase the size of our active base in Australia which fits with our strategy of widening our online proposition to leverage our existing assets, being OzSale and BuyInvite. "The sites being acquired are all well- recognised brands in their own right, with a female weighted customer base. So it's a good opportunity to cross-sell our core fashion offering and expand our already successful homewares category by leveraging the excellent supplier relationships that these websites come with." The $5.2 million will be paid in two instalments: $3 million on execution of formal contracts on November 30, and $2.2 million on January 31, 2016 on the completion of the acquisition. Over this period the future of the acquired sites will be mapped out. "As there is considerable brand equity – for both suppliers and consumers – in each of the websites being acquired, we are currently reviewing the opportunities for each of the brands," Jackson said. "We expect to exchange contracts with the Grays eCommerce Group on the 30 November 2015 and during this period we will be working together on the integration plan and jointly managing the websites on a business as usual basis." Jackson said that as well as continued growth in Australia and New Zealand, MySale is very focused on southeast Asia. Noodle Box acquires key competitor BY CLAIRE HIBBIT Noodle Box has acquired its largest competitor, Wok in a Box, with the acquisition to take the noodle franchise's network to more than 100 outlets. Noodle Box has 70 restaurants nationwide, excluding Western Australia, while Wok in a Box, which is headquartered in South Australia, has 33 outlets. Speaking to Inside Retail Weekly, Noodle Box CEO, Ian Martin, did not disclose details of the transaction, but said it was a strategic fit for the company. "We're two and half years into our three year plan," Martin told Inside Retail Weekly. "This is something that has been in the works certainly from our strategic planning perspective for some time. "We believe that the Australian middle market was right for industry rationalising. The market was predominantly Noodle Box with 70 restaurants, Wok in A Box, with 33 restaurants, and then two smaller chains in Queensland with nine and 12 [stores]." Martin said the acquisition was not only of benefit in terms of scale, but also the geographic spread of Wok in a Box. Of the 33 Wok in a Box restaurants, only one is within a trading zone of an existing Noodle Box. Wok in a Box also has 13 outlets in Western Australia, a market Noodle Box is yet to enter. It is understood that existing Wok in a Box stores will soon start to be converted to the Noodle Box banner. However, Martin said there is no pressure for franchisees to convert. "We'll happily manage both, but certainly we would see that going into the future, whether that be 12-18 months from now, the vast majority will convert to Noodle Box." Wok in a Box's Adelaide head office will also be relocating to Melbourne, with its head of operations to remain with the company in Melbourne, along with several administrative staff. Expansion Before Christmas, Noodle Box will open one new store in Queensland and a Wok in a Box store will open in Gilles Plains in South Australia. Martin said locally the company is focused on organic growth, particularly in WA and Queensland, and plans to open around three to five stores per year nationwide. "I think the organic growth will be a combination of greenfield sites, and it will also come from conversions of Continued... "We currently operate in Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, the Philippines and Thailand and are very excited by the long- term potential of this region," he said. Moving forward Once the sale is completed, GEG will focus on its Grays brands and its B2B business. "Following completion of the sale, management time and company resources will be freed up to increase the focus on growing the key auction businesses of Industrial B2B, Grays Wine, and the remaining consumer auction categories," Bayliss said. "These businesses generate strong returns on capital, have strong market position and differentiated offering." Grays launched a dedicated wine site, which the company said is the third largest online wine site in Australia and in FY15 sales exceeded $31 million. 2 | INSIDE RETAIL WEEKLY | WWW.INSIDERETAIL.COM.AU INSIDE RETAIL WEEKLY

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