Asian pawn-broker arrives in Melbourne

“Our offering is niche and unique to the typical retail sector.”

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Finding 22-24K, Indian style gold, in the heart of Melbourne CBD is easier now with the recent opening of LuxeStyle by Maxi Cash, Singapore’s established retailer and pawnbroker.

Located at Swanston Street, on the ground floor of Capitol Arcade building, LuxeStyle is the first Australian retail boutique from Maxi Cash who currently operate 47 boutiques across Asia, including Singapore and Malaysia.

This modernized take on pawn-broking offers fast cash loans with interest and an alternative financing solution for customers. It also offers pre-loved luxury items and a selection of newly designed jewellery.

LuxeStyle showcases reputable brands like Rolex, Cartier, Bvlgari, Chanel, Prada, Louis Vuitton and more. Customers can also bring their pre-loved or unused bags, timepieces or jewellery to monetize them in exchange for cash or upgrade to a new model.

According to Maxi Cash CEO Ng Leok Cheng, “24K and 22K gold, jewellery and timepieces, which all retain their value for years to come, are in high demand the world over and we were quick to recognise a gap and an opportunity for expansion into the Australian market.”

Indian Link spoke to him about his motivation to bring the business to Melbourne and his mission to transform the local luxury market.

With the Australian retail market as it is today, what influenced your decision to open a retail outlet in Melbourne?

Maxi Cash has evolved and witnessed the retail market over the past decade, having firmly established over 47 stores operating across Singapore and Malaysia. We believe that our offering is niche and unique to the typical retail sector, and are excited to explore this in Australia.

We saw a gap in the Australian market which has enabled LuxeSTYLE to step in and create a special shopping experience for our customers, making the purchase of luxury goods easier, more engaging and personalised. We also wanted to offer our customers a ‘touch and feel’ experience, helping to eliminate any product misconceptions and doubt that many have when buying online. Moreover, Melbourne is the fashion capital of Australia and this further influenced our decision to open in the heart of the CBD!

You have a very successful business model in Singapore and this is your first overseas outlet. What is your vision for this venture?

We have established a trusted brand presence amongst our Asian consumers and are looking to continue this with the broader Australian community. We are excited to educate modernised pawnbroking in Australia by offering up consumers fast cash loan with competitive interest, and reliability for financial solutions.

What are the key challenges that you expect in your growth strategy in Australia?

There is often a slight stigma associated with pawnbrokers and we aim to deviate from this in Australia’s retail landscape, by hosting a special boutique experience. Our customers can feel at ease by putting their trust into a reliable retailer and our dedicated staff, to buy or source desired goods or as a means of exchanging products.

Given the diversity of cultural backgrounds in Melbourne have you tailored your marketing strategy to target any specific communities or market segment?

Melbourne is fortunate to have a wide array of cultural backgrounds, which is something that LuxeSTYLE has accommodated buying habits and what these demographics look for.

The value of gold holds a huge presence in both the Indian and Chinese communities, and we know that sourcing high-quality 24K and 22K gold is something that can be challenging and diluted in Australia’s retail market. With strong deals on offer and gold’s ability to retain value for years to come, there is an opportunity to propel this offering beyond the Asian and Indian demographic and into the broader Australian community.

Whilst gold is one of our most prominent offerings at LuxeSTYLE, currently, pre-loved designer goods also appeals to the broader Australian community into our store.

What is your understanding of the Indian community and its buying behaviours, particularly when it comes to luxury goods, in Melbourne?

We have noticed the behaviours that tend to stem from the Indian community is buying 22K high-quality gold, coupled with their love for luxury goods. The Indian community invests a considerable amount into designer purchases. Thus, we believe we can further facilitate their desire to explore the market by offering bespoke goods, timepieces and handbags, whilst also providing the option to exchange, trade and cash in their goods guilt-free.

The new affluent generations are more socially and environmentally conscious, with higher expectations of luxury services to be more sustainable and ethical in their dealings. How does maxi cash manage those expectations?

We are aware of consumers being more environmentally conscious with their buying, yet wanting to still obtain their desired purchase as well as getting the best value for their money. We see LuxeSTYLE as being able to facilitate this with the offer of trading in our consigning their items with us.