Keen to open door to ‘daigou’ mar­ket

Weekend Gold Coast Bulletin - - BUSINESS - KATH­LEEN SKENE

A RE­TAILER cash­ing in on the breath­tak­ing growth of the Chi­nese “daigou” mar­ket in Aus­tralia is scout­ing for new lo­ca­tions, with the Gold Coast on its radar.

AuMake only listed on the ASX a month ago but has al­ready un­der­taken a ma­jor ac­qui­si­tion spree, buying renowned wool prod­uct icon UGG Aus­tralia and health sup­ple­ments busi­ness Health Essence in the past fort­night – pur­chases that saw its stocks rise by 25 per cent.

The com­pany opens Aus­tralian sup­pli­ers to a mas­sive mar­ket of Chi­nese stu­dents, vis­i­tors and ex­pats who are earn­ing a living by buying Aussie prod­ucts and re­selling them in China.

Daigou, which means to “pur­chase on be­half of” in Chi­nese, has hit the head­lines in re­cent years due to short­ages of baby for­mula in Aus­tralia, with stores forced to en­force pur­chase lim­its to main­tain sup­plies.

AuMake has found a lu­cra­tive niche in con­nect­ing Aus­tralia sup­pli­ers with Chi­nese buy­ers in four key pil­lars – wool, health­care, skin­care and in­fant for­mula.

The lat­est data from the ABS says there are 17,016 per­ma­nent res­i­dents of the Gold Coast who are Chi­nese, with an­other 4000 Chi­nese stay­ing here while they study at the city’s univer­si­ties and col­leges.

The num­ber of Chi­nese who visit the city as tourists also con­tin­ues to grow, with 295,000 vis­it­ing in the year to June, up 10 per cent from the pre­vi­ous year.

AuMake In­ter­na­tional Ltd chair­man Keong Chan said the com­pany was look­ing for mul­ti­ple new lo­ca­tions for its re­tail stores but had not set­tled on the specifics.

“AuMake is look­ing to ex­pand our re­tail store foot­print sig­nif­i­cantly over the next 12 months to broaden our reach to daigou and Chi­nese tourists,” he said.

“While AuMake’s im­me­di­ate focus is on Syd­ney where the big­gest pro­por­tion of daigou and Chi­nese tourists are, we have plans to ex­pand to other east coast lo­ca­tions in­clud­ing Mel­bourne and the Bris­baneGold Coast re­gion, al­though no store lo­ca­tions have been iden­ti­fied at this stage.”

Mayor Tom Tate said the Gold Coast was an ob­vi­ous choice for com­pa­nies such as AuMake.

“The Gold Coast has dis­tinct com­pet­i­tive ad­van­tages for in­ter­na­tional businesses look­ing to es­tab­lish here, in­clud­ing rel­a­tive af­ford­abil­ity in com­par­i­son to cap­i­tal cities and a life­style that com­pares to no other,” he said.

“Within the next two months we will have a city fi­bre op­tic sys­tem 10 times the speed of the NBN and we have ex­cel­lent trans­port and cul­tural con­nec­tions with Asia Pa­cific and China.

“From my deal­ings with Chi­nese busi­ness, they rightly see us as an ex­cep­tional life­style city so I would wel­come con­tact from AuMake.”

AuMake chair­man Keong Chan wants to set up shop on the Gold Coast and other cities.

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