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Allure Bathrooms raises $2 million; why an omni channel strategy leads to success


Here’s a small company being rewarded for thinking differently.

Allure Bathrooms, Melbourne-based startup unique for its novel approach to retailing, has just received been partially acquired by Disruptive Investment Group.

Disruptive Investment Group Chairman, Adir Shiffman, recently told Anthill, “Allure is a very special, profitable startup business that is disrupting the bathrooms industry, already a $1.4 billion space. Unlike the established guys, Allure has built its business as an omni-channel retailer from day one.

They sell online and generate serious revenue, but also have their first store in Collingwood in Melbourne and see a lot of traffic from customers who have browsed online and then come in-store.”

Allure Bathrooms is a retailer of bathroom supplies with a particular slant towards contemporary designs.

The terms of the acquisition give Disruptive Investment Group 50 per cent ownership of the growing company.

Why omni-channel retailing?

Allure Bathrooms has made the uncommon shift from starting as an online retailer to setting up a store in Melbourne.

“Customers liked our products displayed online, some are satisfied with just that,” Allure Bathroom’s Vince Luong said.

“Others need to see it in flesh, touch and feel the product before they decide. When our phones kept ringing and customers kept asking ‘where is your showroom located?’ we knew we needed stores. Another main reason for a brick and mortar store was because customers want to be inspired. We believe our showrooms are not just showrooms but a place to inspire renovators and builders.”

That philosophy has already proven profitable, as the company’s May revenue was $180, 000 and it operates on around 25-per cent margins before taxes, according to Shiffman.

It’s about innovation…

Allure’s Tony Nuygen points to innovation as a major contributor to the company’s success.

“We have seen the bathroom industry show little innovation over the past decades and we believe Allure has come up with a concept that will change the way consumers purchase their bathroom products,” he stated.

Innovation, as Nuygen points out, is ever increasingly a point of differentiation for companies.

And we can find a glaring example of that in current events. If you’ve been paying attention to Apple Inc. you’ve surely noted the “innovation” questions looming over CEO Tim Cook, who has so far not stewarded Apple into a new product category since taking over after Steve Jobs’ death in 2011. With all eyes on the Cupertino, CA giant, tremendous emphasis has been placed on innovation in other sectors, which might hint at why Allure Bathrooms is up and running with winning results so soon in its existence.

Allure Bathroom’s has taken a proactive stance on innovation.

“The business concept is here, we have created a business that clearly caters for its customers, and more importantly caters to them well . Using online resources we clearly identified there is a demand for Allure products, a big demand Australia wide.”

“Opening our brick-and-mortar store confirmed the importance of physically having stores available to our customers. Now it’s just a matter of expanding on these key factors. More online coverage, and more stores Australia wide. Our aim now is to allow everyone to experience Allure,” added Vince.

Think different… in retail, and elsewhere

Asked how the company plans to use its nascent influx of investment funds, Tony said, “The investment will fund the expansion of our retail footprint, further enhance our web platform provide good working cash flow. ”

“Next step is to open up our new retail stores and implement our new online strategies.”

Thinking different, embracing all channels, is something that Allure Bathrooms has taken to heart.