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Woolworths to Buy Womenswear Site EziBuy for NZ$350 Million

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Aug. 22 (Bloomberg) -- Woolworths Ltd., Australia’s largest retailer, said it would buy womenswear and homewares store EziBuy Holdings Ltd. for NZ$350 million ($275 million) as it seeks to expand its home deliveries business.

EziBuy, which started sending out black and white mail-order catalogs to organizations picked from the phone book when it was founded in the New Zealand town of Palmerston North in 1978, now makes 68 percent of its sales from Australia, according to a regulatory statement from Woolworths.

Woolworths has been pushing to increase online sales, with a 42 percent rise posted during the 12 months ended June according to a transcript of a July 30 investor call. EziBuy has expertise in that area and a “world-class distribution center” for processing online orders, Woolworths said.

Home deliveries “will continue to provide Woolworths with opportunities for growth and innovation,” Grant O’Brien, chief executive officer, said in a statement.

To contact the reporter on this story: David Fickling in Sydney at dfickling@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Stephanie Wong at swong139@bloomberg.net