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Sir Philip Green’s Arcadia Group has taken a 25% position in Australian online retailing company mysale.com, which operates the online flash fashion sale site OzSale in Australia. The site sells branded menswear, ladies fashions and children’s clothing and accessories, as well as beauty and house-ware products.
MySale has websites up and running in Australia, under the name OzSale.com, New Zealand, Singapore and Thailand. It is opening up in America shortly as well under the name MySale and intends to have a website operating in Britain as well by the summer. So far MySale.com claims altogether about ten million members.
MySale’s founders are ex-Brits Carl and Jamie Jackson who started the company in Australia back in 2007. Today the brothers still hold a majority position in the company, which holds dozens of flash sales every day selling off cheap inventories of other people’s excess products, usually bought up for the purpose at a huge discount – just like the local high-street discount stores used to do.
MySale achieved sales of about US$160 million in its last financial year to June 30th, 2013 and sales so far this year are said to be up about 40%.
Part of the potential attraction of the business is its “reverse cyclicality” as it aims to acquire inventories from, e.g. a British retailer with excess stock at the end of a season, hoping to then to sell it to shoppers in Australia who are just about to enter the same season.
Of course this assumes that fashion trends down-under are perpetually trending behind the latest fashions in Europe, which may be optimistic given the free information exchange everyone now has because of the internet. Sir Philip Green seems to buy in however, saying the company is in a “very, very interesting space. I like the business model, and the reverse season.”
Billionaire Sir Philip has apparently also entered into agreements to sell some of his own excess inventories from his Topshop, Miss Selfridge and Wallis brands according to The Financial Times for disposal using the company’s flash sales.
The terms of the transaction with Arcadia have not been announced. MySale will also be moving its head office to the UK, purportedly to become closer to its supply chain, but it certainly won’t hurt if it should be planning an IPO in London some time down the road as well.
The American venture fund, Incite Venture Partners, earlier also took an undisclosed position in Mysale.com in 2010, investing US$14.5 million , so with two such impeccable investment partners, if the company now executes well in the coming months it should have no difficulty in going public.