Surfwear online stitched up
SurfStitch is a one-stop shop. Photo: Marco Del Grande
WHEN Justin Cameron was working as an investment banker, he found a surf after work would wash away the stresses of the day.
''Surfing was the perfect remedy for any frustrations that I had during the day,'' Mr Cameron said.
But what he couldn't find was a one-stop online store from which to buy all his surf clothing needs, so with business partner Lex Pedersen he decided to start his own.
''We saw an opportunity in the market where none of the major surf and swimwear labels were marketing their brands online,'' Mr Cameron said.
With Mr Cameron's finance background and Mr Pedersen's experience as manager of the Surfection retail chain in Sydney, the pair reckoned they had a chance of success. They were right.
This year, SurfStitch will turn over about $50 million in Australia, and another €10 million ($12.8 million) in Europe for its offering of 350 brands including Billabong, Quiksilver, Seafolly and Tigerlily.
Turnover has doubled each year since inception and the company now employs 250 staff in Australia and Europe, where it has just opened new headquarters in France including an 8000-square-metre distribution centre.
''We saw a huge opportunity to get into the European marketplace, which has a similar environment to what we saw in Australia in 2008 when we started,'' Mr Cameron said. ''No one is currently servicing the street/surf/snow market in Europe [online] so the opportunity to capitalise on being a first mover is very appealing.''
SurfStitch sells up to 10,000 items online every day, even as the waters for Australian surfwear brands become increasingly choppy.
Georgina Safe travelled to Europe as a guest of Bulgari.