WHAT started as an underwear blog has become a multi-million dollar business for Melbourne entrepreneur Nicholas Egonidis.
In its fourth year, Daily Jocks ships around 9,000 pieces of underwear each month, with 6,000 of those to subscribers to its monthly underwear service. That equates to a revenue of around AUD$3 million annually.
"I started the Daily Jocks underwear blog out of frustration after seeing overpriced underwear online. I could see that on US sites, a pair of Calvin Klein underwear cost US$14, but the exact same pair on an Australian site cost AUD$45 - it didn't make sense," Egonidis tells Business News Australia.
The venture started as an aggregator of deals and men's underwear offers and grew from there.
Today, the company's Facebook page has more than 600,000 likes while its email database has more than 250,000 names.
Egonidis overhauled his business model in 2012. His blog and social media channels had the support of major brands, but they weren't willing to pay a reasonable amount for exposure given Daily Jocks' following.
"Our strength is really in the database and our social media following," he says.
"We had half a million people following the brand and a couple of hundred thousand email subscriptions, however, the brands weren't prepared to pay what was justified for the traffic they were getting."
Egonidis decided to leverage his online following to create his own retail brand with a unique value proposition - a subscription underwear service.
"The guys responded well - I had 2,000 people join up to the underwear club in the first month," he says.
"People were clearly interested in buying from us because they recognised that we knew what good underwear was - they trusted our judgement."
In the past year, Daily Jocks has grown revenue by 30-40 per cent, which Egonidis says is due to building up the online store's offering to around 800 products and increasing the variety to include activewear and shorts.
A new retail store which opened within the company's existing distribution warehouse and office on Chapel Street has also boosted the company. However, only 10 per cent of Daily Jocks' customers are in Australia - most are in the United States.
Egonidis is planning to build his community further through a new app.
"I have been working on it for about a year; it is like a shoppable version of Instagram where people can upload the products they have purchased and if someone sees the product and wants to buy it, they can, all within the app," he says.
"This is an exciting time for my business, I am in online and offline retail as well as working on some cool tech that will be out there and promoting the store in Melbourne."
The app will include a beacon for shoppers if they are located within 1km of the store to entice them to visit the shop and to drive online sales content.
In the coming year, Egonidis says he will focus on building a solid, profitable business and work on bringing his digital ecosystem together under a single strategy.
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