Lessons from Catch of the Day: Building a Successful Ecommerce Business

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Gabby Leibovitch, founder of Catch, shares his journey in e-commerce, lessons learned, and the value of building strong relationships.

EP 28

Gabby Leibovich is a renowned figure in online retail. With a bachelor's degree in computer science, he has built a remarkable career in the industry. Gabby is best known as the founder of Catch of the Day, a highly successful online retail platform that was later acquired by Wesfarmers for a staggering $230 million. His entrepreneurial spirit and innovative mindset also led him to establish other successful ventures such as Eat Now, Scoopon, Mumgo, and Grocery Run.

Introducing Gabby Leibovich, founder of

In this episode of Add to Cart, host Nathan Bush interviews Gabby Leibovitch, the founder of Catch (formerly Catch of the Day), a successful ecommerce business acquired by Wesfarmers for $230 million. Gabby and his brother Hezi also founded other successful businesses such as Eat Now, Scoopon, Mumgo, and Grocery Run. They discuss the exciting opportunities in the e-commerce industry and the potential for new disruptors in 2021. Tune in to gain insights and lessons from Gabby’s vast knowledge and experiences in the world of e-commerce.

Discussion Topics

  • Gabby Leibovitch, founder of Catch, shares his knowledge and lessons from building successful online retail businesses.
  • Gabby discusses the early days of Catch of the Day and how they took the traditional retail model online in Australia, paving the way for many e-commerce businesses today.
  • He talks about the importance of being a better buyer and building relationships with suppliers to secure great deals and offer competitive prices to customers.
  • Gabby reflects on the decision to sell Catch and the timing of the sale, acknowledging that the business has since grown in value due to the impact of COVID-19 on the e-commerce industry.
  • He shares insights on the future of retail and the potential for new disruptors, emphasizing the need for entrepreneurs to stay open to new ideas and opportunities in a rapidly changing world.

Episode Timeline

[00:01:30] Catch of the Day founder Gabby Leibovitch.
[00:04:07] Retail growth during COVID.
[00:10:28] Buying and selling insights.
[00:11:30] Building relationships as a buyer.
[00:17:22] Working with a sibling.
[00:19:01] Marketing disagreements.
[00:23:02] The golden years.
[00:26:27] Live streaming and shopping.
[00:31:45] Marketplaces are on everyone’s lips.
[00:35:38] Catch’s tremendous brand and culture.
[00:38:25] A soccer wedding at halftime.
[00:41:27] Australian entrepreneurs and their lessons.

The Rise of Catch of the Day

Gabby and his brother Hezi built Catch of the Day from a small warehouse operation to a household name in Australia. Gabby reflects on the early days of online retail and the immense opportunities he saw on the internet. He shares, “There’s something really good in this thing called the Internet. There’s a massive opportunity.” Their success paved the way for many other retailers to embrace e-commerce and take their businesses online.

Lessons from Catch’s Journey

Gabby openly shares the lessons he learned from building Catch of the Day and other businesses. He emphasizes the importance of being a better buyer: “We are better buyers. “Buying is one of those skills that you cannot learn at university.” Gabby also highlights the significance of building relationships with suppliers and finding solutions to problems others haven’t even recognized. He believes that copying successful ideas and excelling in them is often more effective than trying to be completely original.

The Power of Partnerships and Teamwork

Gabby attributes much of Catch’s success to the partnership and teamwork between him and his brother Hezi. They complemented each other’s skills and trusted each other’s expertise. Gabby explains, “We let each other lead where it is required. If we’re going into a negotiation game, I let my brother talk and I sit on the sidelines because I just know that he will get a better deal.” Their strong bond and shared entrepreneurial spirit allowed them to build multiple successful businesses together.

The Value of Timing and Market Opportunities

Gabby reflects on the timing of Catch’s sale to Wesfarmers and acknowledges that they may have sold the business too early. He admits, “We sold the business one year too early… knowing that this business is worth ten times more today, not because Wesfarmers have done anything specific, simply because of corona.” Despite this, Gabby remains optimistic about the future and believes there are still plenty of opportunities in the ever-changing retail landscape.

The Importance of Company Culture

Gabby takes pride in the company culture they built at Catch. He describes it as a family-like environment where employees enjoyed coming to work, had friends at work, and were allowed to explore and try new things. Gabby believes that celebrating together and creating a positive work atmosphere contributed to their success. He states, “We’ve built something very, very special there… It’s a place that people enjoyed coming to work.” The strong company culture fostered a sense of loyalty and dedication among the team.

Key Quotes

“If I had any hair, I would have lost it all by now.”
“I think we’re digital pioneers, maybe accidental pioneers, accidental entrepreneurs.”
“Buying is very much about building relationships because people like to do business with people that they like.”
“This business would not have succeeded with two Gabi’s or with two Hezzi’s. It really needed one of each.”
“We always found that it’s better to copy an idea and excel in it rather than be original and build some silly, mediocre business.”

Links from the episode

Catch of the Decade. Gabby and his brother Hezi have written a book called “Catch of the Decade” which shares over 200 real-life lessons from their experiences in building successful online retail businesses.

Shopify Plus. A partner of the Add To Cart podcast, Shopify Plus is a leading e-commerce platform that helps businesses build and scale their online stores. (sponsored)

Signet. Another partner of the Add to Cart podcast, Signet provides packaging solutions for e-commerce retailers, helping to eliminate transit damages and create a great unboxing experience. (sponsored)

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