Catch Group has opened its first physical retail store in the ex-Toys R Us site in Chadstone shopping centre.
The pop-up concept store offers Catch's top 500 products at the same discounted rate that appears on the website, while a daily rotation of popular products will keep the offering fresh, reflecting the nature of the online store.
The 500m² store – which features a 1500m² back room – sees bricks and clicks combined, with consumers able to click and collect instantly in the store.
Head of marketing at Catch, Ryan Gracie, told Toy & Hobby Retailer, that the Instant Click and Collect feature cuts out the middle man in both traditional and online shopping.
“So we've developed a [web]site, you go to that site when you walk in the store on your phone, you can scan a QR code that's on the product, instantly add it to your cart, enter your credit card details, check out and walk out with that product straight away.
“It's a pure self-service function – no need to go to check-out, no need to line up – just serve yourself, grab the product, instantly collect and you're out.
“You can [still] shop the traditional way, you grab the product and go up to the check out like you would in any other store, but this Instant Click and Collect allows people to shop on their own, without having to interact if they're in a rush and want to grab something but there's a huge line-up.”
Aside from the Instant Click and Collect, the store will also host other new features, Gracie said.
“We will have exclusive in-store offers where we may discount something for a couple of hours, or across a day, or certain categories may go on sale, in the store only.
“What's in the store will never be more expensive than what's online but there will be cases where it's actually cheaper to buy in-store.
“The thing about our store at Chadstone is that we know that everything in there is cheaper than what anyone else is selling at Chadstone. If it's in our store, it's the cheapest,” he said.
In terms of toys, Gracie said that all the big brands will be available in the store such as Lol Surprise, Hatchimals, Vtech, Little Tikes and PJ Masks among others, and that more toys will be included in the product mix the closer it gets to Christmas.
“As we go into Christmas, of course the logical thing to do is pump it up with toys.
“Already the entire, almost bottom two rows of the store are occupied with toys and we're seeing in the first couple of days of trade that they're selling really well – toys and kids' books, as well.”
This pop-up store is an opportunistic tactic for Catch according to Gracie, as Chadstone approached them with the offer.
“So when Toys R Us went out of business, there was a vacancy and Chadstone came to us with an opportunity to take that space. They were looking for someone to fill a void over the Christmas trading period and of course we thought, 'why not?'
“This was, for them, an opportunity to get someone new and fresh into the centre that they knew had a huge customer following and fan base so I think when they look[ed] for a retailer to fill that spot, we were on top of the radar.
“This is an opportunistic tactic for us. This is something that landed on our desk and we considered it and thought, 'yes that's a great idea.' So it's not something necessarily that we had planned for, but you never say never,” he said.
The pop-up store will trade through to Christmas and comes after Catch launched Australia's first live 'gamified' shopping experience, Catch Live, which allowed customers to play to buy products and win prizes.