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Online firms Catch and Lux form alliance

Australian e-commerce companies Catch and Lux have formed a partnership to expand their reach, and giving them each a combined 2.5 million active customers.

The companies, which have a combined estimated turnover of more than $600 million, have struck a series of deals that will result in Catch specialising in online retail and Lux in travel.

Their alliance coincides with the launch of Amazon's Australian online marketplace on Tuesday following nearly a year of speculation around the online retail giant's arrival.

However, both companies say their new business structure follows six months of negotiations and is not a defensive move against Amazon.

Catch Group, the owner of the Pumpkin Patch kids apparel brand, has bought Lux Group's members-only online shopping club Brands Exclusive and homewares and furniture online store TheHome.

Those sites are expected to complement its other online stores - Catch, GroceryRun, Mumgo.

While Lux, the owner of travel site Luxury Escapes, has bought Catch's luxury online travel deals group BonVoyage and its budget travel deals group Scoopon Travel.

The arrangements have resulted in Lux specialising in travel and Catch in online retail, while a third deal is a joint venture around their local experience businesses.

Both groups will run Scoopon, Cudo, LivingSocial and Deals.com.au where discounts are offered on experiences ranging from dining out, beauty treatments to accommodation.

Catch Group co-founder Gabby Leibovich said the deals allow each group to play to their strengths.

"This wasn't structured as an answer to Amazon's arrival," Mr Leibovich said.

"We are actually excited about Amazon because it is great for online shopping; it will bring more customers online."

Lux Group managing director Adam Schwab said Lux and Catch ran similar businesses and realised that instead of being competitors they could specialise in the segment they are best at.

"Catch is really good at the products with fantastic infrastructure so it made sense for them to run the products business and, given our extensive relationships with customers and travel, it made sense for us to run the travel part of the business," he said.

"We are both good at local so we thought we'd put together our brands to give consumers the best service and to give our clients the maximum audience."

Catch relaunched the Pumpkin Patch brand online on Thursday after acquiring the label in March.

Pumpkin Patch closed all its 124 Australian stores after collapsing into receivership in October, 2016.