MySale continues European expansion with Danish stake acquisition
By John Aglionby. This article originally appeared on the Financial Times website, FT.com on September 15th, 2014
MySale, the online retailer backed by Topshop boss Sir Philip Green and Mike Ashley of Sports Direct, is continuing its expansion into Europe with the acquisition of a 60 per cent stake in a Danish retailer.
Six weeks after it rolled out in the UK and moved its headquarters to London from Australia, the flash sale site that listed on the Aim index in June, said it was using the purchase of the majority of Invitetobuy.dk for an undisclosed sum to launch MySale across the Nordic region and then further afield.
“This is our first entry into the rest of Europe,” said Carl Jackson, MySale’s chief executive. “The key for us now is that the websites in the 10 countries we operate in are operating fully. The plans are all there.”
MySale, founded by Mr Jackson and his brother Jamie in Australia seven years ago, says it has 13.5m registered users and 850,000 active customers, which means they have shopped in the last year. It has just launched in the US.
Sir Philip, the Arcadia founder, bought 25 per cent of MySale in May and now owns 22 per cent through Shelton Capital, a vehicle owned by his wife Lady Christina Green. Mr Ashley bought 4.8 per cent of the business the following month.
Its business model is flash sales of brands that allow its members to buy discounted products. “Each brand that goes on the website lasts for 72 hours,” Carl Jackson said. “We don’t hold inventory, it’s a consignment model.”
Jamie Jackson said Mr Ashley was using the site to “get the Sports Direct brand name into Australia and New Zealand” while Sir Philip has offered advice on key brands.
In May it acquired rival flash website Cocosa and a database of 800,000 customers from Mohamed Fayed for an undisclosed sum.
MySale had an inauspicious start as a listed company when a listing error priced the company’s shares at £2.26 rather than 226p. This triggered a series of automatic sell calls by trading programmes that saw the share price slump to 160p.
It has since recovered but on Monday its share price fell 0.67 per cent to 222p after announcing full-year results that it described as being “in line with expectations”.
Revenues were up 23.3 per cent to A$224.3m and pre-tax profit was A$60.4m, up from A$54.9m in 2013. Mobile transactions account for 56 per cent of its sales.
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