LUXURY ESCAPES AND PUMPKIN PATCH OWNERS ANNOUNCE MAJOR BRAND SWAP

LUXURY ESCAPES AND PUMPKIN PATCH OWNERS ANNOUNCE MAJOR BRAND SWAP

STEALING the spotlight from Amazon's Aussie entry, major e-commerce players Catch Group and Lux Group have formed a partnership to expand their reach.

Catch Group, run by rich-list brothers Hezi and Gabby Lebovich, is the company responsible for Catch.com.au (formerly known as Catch of the Day).

It is also the new owner of the Pumpkin Patch kids clothing brand which relaunched as a website this morning, following the collapse of its 124 retail stores in October last year.

Lux is behind pure play brands including Luxury Escapes, The Home and The Gourmet, and together the two giants boast a combined estimated turnover of more than $600 million.

The new business structure between Lux and Catch is essentially a trade-off.

Lux has bought out Catch's travel assets BonVoyage and Scoopon Travel, and Catch has in turn taken over Brands Exclusive and The Home from Lux.

These arrangements have resulted in Lux specialising in travel and Catch in online retail.

The alliance follows a year of speculation on Amazon's arrival in Australia and around six months of negotiations, however the Gabby Lebovich insists the partnership is not a defensive move.

"This wasn't structured as an answer to Amazon's arrival," Mr Leibovich said.

"We are actually excited about Amazon because it is great for online shopping; it will bring more customers online."

As a third prong to the deal, both companies will jointly run online discount sites including Scoopon, Cudo and deals.com.au.

Lux managing director Adam Schwab said it made more sense for the two companies to be partners rather than competitors, jointly capitalising on more than 2.5 million active customers.

"Catch is really good at the products with fantastic infrastructure so it made sense for them to run the products business and, given our extensive relationships with customers and travel, it made sense for us to run the travel part of the business," he said.

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