FlyingPig prepares to acquire

FlyingPig is set to announce the purchase of another e-tailer within a week.

FlyingPig is set to announce the purchase of another e-tailer within a week. The company is in a different online retail category to FlyingPig, but some consolidation of staff has already taken place.

While half dozen permanent staff left FlyingPig since it was sold in a stock-only deal to Auckland publisher IT Media last month, IT Media Group CEO Mark Battles declines to call them redundancies.

"A number of people have recently left us, but that wasn't due to any formal redundancy."

FlyingPig is now using more contract labour, with up to 15 extra contractors at peak times and another five to be hired for Christmas.

Battles, who was financial controller under the company's original ownership and moved to IT Media with the sale, says the rationale behind the deal - "a merger of content and e-commerce" – was playing out well.

"It's about leveraging all the media channels that IT media owns," including NZ Rugby, NZ Fishing and five internet properties (including the Lion Red-sponsored fire-engine.co.nz) and the Sky TV rugby show Offside, he says.

Battles says the print titles have a combined readership of 500,000 monthly and the websites total about 250,000 unique sessions per month. With the advent of Offside, "we're almost reaching a million people now – which is pretty strong for an unheard-of media company."

"We now own the media channel, so my customer acquisition costs havefallen through the floor." He says that fact put FlyingPig in a much healthier position than the troubled Australian e-tailer Dstore, which was forced into a firesale this week.

"Dstore's burn was really caused by acquisition costs. In Australia it costs you at least $150 to acquire every new email address or customer. For IT Media Group it's more a matter of cents."

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