All the key details on TheMarket, The Warehouse Group’s $12 million foray into e-commerce.
What is TheMarket?
TheMarket is a brand new online shopping platform that was launched today by The Warehouse Group (TWG). It’s an online marketplace, similar to e-commerce sites like ASOS and The Iconic, but with an even wider range of products that includes clothes, toys, electronics, books, homewares, makeup, and designer goods. It currently has more than a million products from thousands of local and international brands such as Karen Walker, Stolen Girlfriends Club, Citta, Bobux, Adidas, SurfStitch, and Barkers.
Hang on, but The Warehouse already provides online shopping. How is this any different?
If you’re wondering about the lack of Warehouse red on the new site, it’s important to know that TheMarket is a Warehouse Group venture and operates as a separate entity from the Big Red Shed. The Warehouse Group is the largest retail group in New Zealand and consists of The Warehouse (duh), Warehouse Stationery, Noel Leeming, 1-Day.co.nz, and Torpedo7. TheMarket is simply TWG’s latest and most financially significant foray into the online retail market.
Another day, another website for online shopping… so why all the hubbub? Why are people making this such a big deal?
From a business perspective, this is a huge deal for TWG. The idea for TheMarket goes all the way back to 2016 when the group decided to enter the e-commerce space with a new digital venture. It then spent 14 months developing the platform, investing a cool $12 million to get it off the ground. Justus Wilde, chief executive of TheMarket, told the Herald that the group had “big ambitions” for the platform, anticipating it would contribute significantly to TWG’s earnings in the long term.
TheMarket is also a big deal for consumers. Not only is it massive in scale and size, but it’s the first viable local competitor to international heavyweights like ASOS, The Iconic, and of course – the biggest of them all – Amazon.
Alright then, so what are some the perks of buying stuff from TheMarket?
Firstly: MarketPoint sites. These are locations within existing retail stores where you can go pick-up and return goods purchased from TheMarket, similar to what Amazon does with Amazon Hub or what ASOS does with its Click & Collect service. Currently, there are 30 MarketPoint sites but the company says it plans to expand to 300 nationwide.
Secondly: a ‘shop social’ section. In recognition of how integral platforms like Instagram have become for online retailers, TheMarket also has a section which aggregates social media content from the brands it represents and links to those products directly for purchase. Also worth mentioning is TheMarket’s ‘influencer registry’ which will apparently give influencers “direct access to collaboration opportunities” with brands.
Thirdly: a subscription service. Similar to Amazon Prime, TheMarket’s yet-to-launch subscription service will reportedly provide free shipping and returns on all orders. It will also offer ‘rewards’ for being active on the platform, but as of yet, details are few and far between.
Lastly: supporting local business. Not only is TheMarket itself a locally-owned business, but many of the brands it champions are also New Zealand-based. It’s also understood that TheMarket takes a much smaller commission from retailers so more of each sale goes back to the businesses themselves, and that’s great news for small, boutique outfits.
Speaking of shipping, how much will it cost?
Annoyingly enough, non-subscriber shipping costs will vary by each store. This is because TheMarket doesn’t actually hold any inventory, so each product has to be sent out individually by different stores. For example, a scarf from Citta will have a $5 shipping cost while delivery on a My Little Pony plush toy from Toyco will cost $6. A bomber jacket from BLAK, on the other hand, will ship for free.
How do prices on TheMarket compare to international marketplace retailers?
While there isn’t a huge amount of overlap between marketplaces, here are a few examples. Keep in mind that come October, the ‘Amazon tax’ will officially come into effect which means goods purchased from overseas will be subject to GST, just like all goods bought in New Zealand:
Books: A paperback version of Sally Rooney’s bestseller Normal People retails for $23.84 with free shipping on TheMarket, which sources most of its books from Australasian retailer The Nile. Meanwhile, Book Depository (which is owned by Amazon) sells the same book for just $13.84, also with free shipping.
Women’s clothing: On TheMarket, the ‘Cotton On Boyfriend Sherpa Trucker Denim Jacket’ is on sale for $74.99 with free shipping, while The Iconic sells theirs for $69.99 AUD (roughly $73.11 NZD) also with free shipping which it offers for all orders over $50.
Accessories: The ‘Inertia Watch’ by Status Anxiety retails for $209 on TheMarket, while The Iconic sells theirs for $179.95 AUD (roughly $188 NZD). Both include free shipping.
Movies & TV: Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 on Blu-ray from The Warehouse costs $29, plus $5 for standard shipping. On Fishpond, the same item costs $29.46 but comes with free shipping.
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