FASHION

National success story EziBuy celebrates 35 years by giving back to Palmerston North community

Wednesday 3 July 2013, 11:23AM
By Lassoo
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PALMERSTON NORTH

EziBuy, New Zealand’s multi-channel retail success story hits its 35th year next week and is ready to celebrate.

To give back to the community and to say thank you for decades of support, EziBuy is constructing an enormous washing line to showcase some of their most loved items of clothing and homeware collections – and locals will get to take them home.

Over 50 metres long, the clothesline will feature more than 450 items from the latest 2013 fashion and homewares range, worth more than $30,000.

The line will be assembled outside the EziBuy Palmerston North Store (170-178 John F. Kennedy Drive, Palmerston North) in the car park on 4th July 2013 from 8.00am.  Everyone is welcome to come along to celebrate and receive a special gift from EziBuy.  It will be first in, first served and, if they wish, customers will be able to give their gift to one of three charities - The Cancer Society, Dress for Success and The Salvation Army.

“This is a national celebration but we wanted to have our birthday bash in the city where it all began – Palmerston North.  It’s about thanking the local community for being with us from the start,” says Chief Executive Simon West.

In 1978, brothers Peter and Gerard Gillespie with friend John Robinson were ahead of their time and realised retail shoppers wanted more – the convenience of having items delivered to their doorstep.  With the online shopping phenomenon now sweeping the globe, EziBuy hit on a new way of home shopping well before the internet kicked off. EziBuy started with catalogues then launched its first internet site in 1998. Today, the website gets around 18 million visits a year.

“This isn’t just about celebrating our birthday, it’s about celebrating the part we’ve played in the shopping revolution and changing customer behaviour,” says West.

EziBuy’s progression has been impressive. It opened its first store in Palmerston North in 1978 and launched into Australia in 1992. It expanded its homewares offering in 1995 and, in 2006, opened the largest Distribution Centre in the Southern Hemisphere at 25,000m2.  From here, EziBuy has grown to be the largest fashion and home decor multi-channel retailer in Australasia, distributing over 15,000 items per day to customers on both sides of the Tasman.

The very first catalogue in 1978 - a single A3 black and white sheet sold women’s fashion and hardware. The mailing list was compiled by using phone books and it was a success story from the outset receiving 638 orders. Today over 23 million catalogues are mailed to customers annually, with over 480,000 orders received each month.

“After 35 years of evolution, EziBuy today is a genuine multi-channel retailer, offering customers the option to buy online, via the contact centre, catalogue, retail store, ipad, or mobile device. We strive for the ultimate in customer experience in any medium they choose to buy from,” says West.

With annual turnover running into hundreds of millions of dollars, more than 800 staff, a strong database of active customers and a year-on-year retention rate of 70%, EziBuy is a hugely successful and progressive direct marketing business.  “This is truly something to celebrate,” says West.