SURFER REVEALS RESCUE PLAN FOR BILLABONG

Written on the 28 August 2012

SURFER REVEALS RESCUE PLAN FOR BILLABONG

A SURFER who is behind Australia’s latest online retail success story says battling Billabong must modernise to regain market share.

Speaking exclusively to Gold Coast Business News, SurfStitch co-founder Lex Pederson (pictured) says Billabong can overcome its retail blues if it embraces some of the cutting edge online sales techniques that have made SurfStitch one of the country’s fastest growing online retailers.

SurfStitch has grown exponentially into a $30 million company since Pederson and co-founder Justin Cameron started the business in their garage four years ago. It is part-owned by Billabong.

Billabong CEO Launa Inman’s anticipated strategic review of the company is due late this month. She is expected to announce store closures and possible staff retrenchments as the attempts to stabilise the company that has been hit hard by a plummeting share price and the rise of online competitors.

The SurfStitch founders have been working with Billabong on future directions. Pederson tells Gold Coast Business News the future focus of the company is likely to be more about an “in-store branding experience”, relying more on digital technology and online apps to process sales.

Items swiped in the super-stores, or bought through online shopfronts, will be shipped from a central warehouse within 24 hours.

“Right there, [customers] can fulfil the sale from the shop floor. That is where we see it going and you see examples of it in e-commerce overseas,” he says.

“It is a changing world out there and everyone is changing strategy. There will be a huge focus on online. [Billabong] will see it through.”

Read more about SurfStitch’s meteoric rise and Pederson’s thoughts on the future of online retailing in the latest copy of Gold Coast Business News – in newsagents now.


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