Happy holidays from the team at CatchOfTheDay!

Wow, I cannot believe 2011 is almost over!

When I sat down to write this, my last blog post for the year, it struck me what an incredible journey we have been on.

We are indisputably the number 1 shopping site in Australia and are delivering revenue growth traditional retailers can only dream of! 2011 will go down as a big year both personally and professionally, so as we start to wind down and ease into the holiday season, I thought I would share with you some of our highlights for 2011 and let you in on our plans for the new year.

2011 – growth and lots of it!

Investment funding, launching a new site and tripling our staff are only some of the things that shaped 2011 for CatchOfTheDay. Here are a few more of my top highlights for the year:

  • We made some powerful friends in James Packer and US investment giant, Tiger Global, who invested $80M into our business for a minority share.
  • Growing pains saw us make our third move in as many years! We opened a second, and HUGE 16,000m2 warehouse in Braeside. Check below some photos of our new set up.
  • Scoopon.com.au continued its massive growth. For a business only 20 months old, it now employs over 100 people and has sold millions of Scoopons
  • Groceryrun.com.au launched in October and is already kicking goals. In fact, on our opening sale we sold over $1.5M worth of groceries within 48 hours!
  • We aren’t a big one for awards – we rely on you guys to let us know how we are doing – but it’s always great to be recognised for doing a great job. We have ranked 3rd in the BRW Fast Starters list; been named in BRW Private Company awards as the second fastest growing Australian private company with revenues over $100M; been named in the Deloitte Technology 500 fastest growing technology companies in Asia Pacific; and on a personal level, I was voted Best Father by my daughters on Father’s Day!

A year in review isn’t the same without stats – and we know you guys love the numbers. So here goes!

  • Membership has grown from 550,000 members to 1.5 million! In fact, 70,000 of them joined in November alone!
  • Sales revenue has grown by 100% this financial year. At a time when all the big retailers are competing for the biggest profit downgrades, the quality online stores who provide a real advantage to their customers continue to defy the so-called tough retailing environment and deliver strong returns.
  • When most online retailers have been shedding Market share, according to Experian Hitwise, we are the only local department store to increase market share, with a 7.09% increase on 2010 figures. Each day we receive around 200,000 unique visitors. On massive days we can have as many as 300,000 people logging on to our site. And it’s not just our unique visitors that shine: over 80% of our members visit us more than four times a week – just to check out our amazing deals.

We know it’s our amazing deals that keep you guys coming back for more. Some of our most popular ones this year have been:

  • Over 20,000 Swarovski jewellery sets snapped up in 24 hours!
  • 4,300 Toshiba laptops sold in 3 hours
  • 20,000 pillows sold in 24 hours
  • 16,000 portable BBQs set more records on fire
  • 10,000 pairs of sports shoes ran out the door just as quick
  • 10,000+ Levi’s jeans gone in 24 hours
  • 2,000 flights from Melbourne to Phuket flew out the door in no time!
  • 15,000 Sennheiser headphones

The list goes on but you get the point. The numbers are massive, whether it’s Antler luggage, Canningvale manchester, Caribee camping, Oakley sunglasses or O.P.I cosmetics – the place to buy is CatchOfTheDay!

2012: the year of the e-tailer!

There is no doubt about it, 2012 will be the year of the online retailer. Shoppers have voted with clicks, and retailers and suppliers are slowly (and for some, painfully) realising the Internet is the future and stores need to become more competitive on price, range and service in order to survive.

Many have made the move online and we welcome their decision. We only hope we will see more retailers join the online ranks in 2012. Ironically, many of the country’s finest retail managers have left their homes to join our business, as they are that excited by the opportunity that we provide – and we are happy and proud to have them on board!

For our e-commerce group, 2012 is already shaping up to be a big year. We are on track to deliver record revenues in the 2011/2012 financial year and have plans to expand our family, with the launch of two new sites in fresh new categories in early 2012.

CatchOfTheDay will also be launching its much anticipated iPhone app and it will be packed with functionality! Keeping up with our deals will never be easier!

It has been a big 2011 but it will be an even bigger 2012!I want to send a very big thanks to YOU, our members. Every day at noon, it’s always heart-warming to see thousands of you online and eagerly awaiting the next Catch. Your loyalty is what keeps us working this hard and we’ll be going even further next year.

On behalf of the team, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! Drive carefully and celebrate responsibly.

Gabby