By Patrick Avenell

The boss of Appliances Online, CEO John Winning, has offered a rare insight into the business success of the retail website he founded in 2005.

Traditionally a conservative business, Appliances Online, which is the online arm of Winning Appliances, has been very shy about releasing sales figures, with Winning himself admitting that although he constantly receives approaches from investment banks to discuss the business, he prefers to keep the finer details of his family owned operation in the family.

“Every week I receive an enquiry from an investment bank wanting to meet with me to discuss the retail landscape in Australia,” Winning revealed on his blog. “While I welcome their emails, and always reply (sometimes hastily), I have also decided to keep investment advice at arm’s length, for now.”

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Winning, however, did choose to reveal several key details about the business. One of most interesting is that Appliances Online accounts for 20 per cent of the total sales of the Winning Appliances business. This figure is in contrast to opinions expressed by rivals such as Harvey Norman chairman Gerry Harvey, who once famously said that “there's no history of anyone making money on it [the internet]”.

With Harvey Norman now also online, Winning gave some indication of the type of success can be achieved with an attractive proposition.

“More than 170,000 customers have bought from Appliances Online,” Winning continued.

“I recently admitted…that the revenue for Appliances Online was in the tens of millions and will further admit that we turn over more each year than Kogan, a business with a very different strategy to ours, but one which is run by a successful and fearless entrepreneur and businessman, who established his business around the same time as I established Appliances Online.

“We’re a fast-growing business and we have increased our staff numbers from 20 to 80 in the past 12 months alone.”

Click here to access John Winning's blog.