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Not all Australian retailers feeling the pinch



The latest interest rate drop is another effort to encourage spending, but not all Aussie retailers are suffering

Australian owned and operated experience retailer RedBalloon has continued to see growth in sales since launching in 2001, racking up its 1.5 millionth sale in September this year.

And while the bulk of the redballoon.com.au offering is online, the retailer also has a traditional bricks and mortar offering, selling experience vouchers in Target and BigW stores nationally – everything from V8 rides, to cooking classes and shark diving adventures.

RedBalloon’s General Manager of “offline” Kasey Willoughby says the business continues to buck the trend of declining sales within the traditional retail environment, continuing to grow each year since launching in-store products in 2009.

“Comparing August 2011 to Augusts 2012 we saw growth in sales of almost 64 per cent across the range, a trend which we expect to continue into the last half of this year,” Ms Willoughby said.

“Our online business provided an ideal platform to launch our bricks and mortar offering, as we already had a loyal customer base and great brand recognition. And our commitment to innovation is one element that has supported our continued growth; an area where some Australian retailers are falling short.”

RedBalloon recently implemented a world first hybrid offline/online experience solution, where the purchase is made in-store and the experience selection and redemption is facilitated online. An approach that not only puts the brand in front of customers in a purchase environment, but also appeals to those who may not feel comfortable making a transaction online.

“Online retail and traditional retail shouldn’t be viewed as competing with each other, but able to work in unison to support a better customer experience,” Ms Willoughby said.

“Not all retailers are created equal. For us it’s about giving customers the choice about where, when and how they want to shop, and making it as easy as we can for them to have a great experience from start to finish.”

It could be said that RedBalloon have done things back-to-front when it comes to retail. At a time when most retailers are taking their products online to offer shoppers the convenience of 24/7 shopping, RedBalloon are putting their products in front of shoppers, and with great success.

Currently the retail arm of RedBalloon represents about 5 per cent of the $50 million business, on target to reach the $100 million milestone by 2015.

“RedBalloon really is an Australian success story. With Australian-owned businesses continually being swallowed up by international buyers, we are proud of our local roots and so grateful to the Australian customers who continue to support us,” Ms Willoughby concluded.

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For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact
Lauren Ashton, Communication Specialist RedBalloon – 02 8755 0034 / 0404 136 765 / lauren@redballoon.com.au

About RedBalloon
RedBalloon has been giving people the chance to fulfil their dreams for 11 years in Australia and New Zealand, and has supplied more than 1.5 million memorable experiences in this time. With over 3000 unique gift ideas and experience gift vouchers like race car driving, hot air ballooning, horse riding on the beach, tiger moth flights to massages, romantic dinners and getaways, RedBalloon has the perfect present for any occasion. RedBalloon experience vouchers, gift certificates and gift boxes can be purchased online or in selected retail outlets.