Money Pumpkin Patch sprouts from the grave — as an online store

07:42  10 december  2017
07:42  10 december  2017 Source:   abc.net.au

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Pumpkin Patch has been rescued from the retail graveyard, and revived as an online store by Catch Group — similar to what Kogan did with Dick Smith.

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Pumpkin Patch relaunches as an online store under new ownership.© Provided by ABC News Pumpkin Patch relaunches as an online store under new ownership. Failed children's clothing retailer Pumpkin Patch has returned from the dead.

But the catch is it will be an online store only — a far-cry from its glory days when the children's fashion chain had over 100 bricks and mortar stores across Australia.

Online retailer, the Catch Group, came to the rescue after the Pumpkin Patch went into voluntary administration last year and closed down all of its stores after 27 years in business.

Catch Group (which runs online shops Scoopon and Catch of the Day), purchased the Pumpkin Patch brand, customer list and intellectual property (IP) back in March.

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Beloved childrenswear brand Pumpkin Patch is sprouting again, and this time around nothing costs more than . More than a year after the company went into liquidation and was forced to close all of its stores , the brand has re-launched exclusively online .

This is similar to the strategy that online electronics company Kogan employed — buying Dick Smith's online business and customer list after it collapsed last year.

So what makes Catch confident it will be any more successful than Pumpkin Patch's former owners?

"Running a business online has very low expenses, compared to physical stores which have high retail and labour costs," Catch co-founder Gabby Leibovich said.

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Furthermore, having access to the "1 million or so" customers from Pumpkin Patch's database would allow Catch an opportunity to promote products from its other businesses, he added.

These include deals from its flagship online store Catch (formerly known as "Catch of the Day"), Scoopon, LivingSocial and other deal-of-the-day websites.

Pumpkin Patch is one of many businesses which were buried in the retail graveyard or flirted with death over the last 18 months.

This list includes Marcs, David Lawrence, Herringbone, Rhodes & Beckett and, more recently, Oroton.

The Retail Doctor Group's chief executive Brian Walker is optimistic about the future of a resurrected Pumpkin Patch.

"One reason for its demise was it didn't have a particularly clear point of difference," Mr Walker said.

"This kids retailer over-expanded far too quickly, and it had to compete with discount department stores like K-Mart.

"As a consequence, it lost its buffer and margin, and started producing cheaper quality products.

One might wonder how the revived Pumpkin Patch will fare, given that e-commerce giant Amazon officially launched in Australia this week.

But Mr Walker believes the real issue is how well can Pumpkin Patch's new owner, Catch Group, competes against Amazon.

"Pumpkin Patch is a well-known brand name with good IP, designs, and Catch did well to buy its sales history," he said.

"If anything, Pumpkin Patch's resurrection will benefit Catch, and protect it from the Amazon threat."

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