Woolworths will pay $306 million for New Zealand-based direct retailer EziBuy.

EziBuy is a direct-to-customer retailer of apparel and homewares in Australia and New Zealand operating primarily via an online platform, catalogues and contact centres. It also operates four retail stores in New Zealand.

Woolworths believes the acquisition, which is subject to approval from New Zealand’s Overseas Investment Office (OIO), will help accelerate the company’s multi-option business.

“One of the four strategic priorities we outlined in 2011 was to maintain our track record of building new growth businesses, and specifically to grow out multi-option presence,” Woolworths CEO Grant O’Brien said.

“We believe the combination of our retail network, EziBuy’s direct selling expertise and our respective loyal customer bases is a winning formula for us.”

“Direct-to-customer retailing is a critical part of the multi-option market and it is clear that these channels will continue to provide Woolworths with opportunities for growth and innovation. Cellarmasters is a great example of this with the benefits and learnings this business has brought to our liquor division.”

Currently 68 per cent of EziBuy’s sales are from Australia and the business retails is own brands including Capture, Urban, Emerge, Grace Hill and Sara. It also has distribution relationships with international apparel retailers Otto and Next.

Commenting on the acquisition, EziBuy chief executive Simon West said: “We are delighted to have the backing of Woolworths as we embark on the next phase of our growth.”