Woolworths, Australia's largest supermarket chain, is to acquire New Zealand-based apparel and homewares retailer EziBuy Holdings for NZD350m (US$273.9m).

EziBuy is a direct-to-customer retailer operating primarily via an online platform, catalogues and contact centres, as well as four retail stores in New Zealand.

Some 68% of its sales are in Australia and the business sells its own brands, including Capture, Urban, Emerge, Grace Hill and Sara. The company also has distribution relationships with major international apparel retailers Otto and Next.

Woolworths said the acquisition will "accelerate growth of its multi-option business" as EziBuy is scaled to fulfil direct-to-customer orders.

Woolworths CEO Grant O'Brien said: "This acquisition will provide us with a unique competitive advantage as we continue to develop our multi-option capabilities. We believe the combination of our retail network, EziBuy's direct selling expertise and our respective loyal customer bases is a winning formula for us."

"Direct-to-customer retailing is a critical part of the multi-option market and it is clear that these channels will continue to provide Woolworths with opportunities for growth and innovation."

While EziBuy chief executive Simon West noted: "Further investment in mobile platforms, customer insights and distribution will be priorities for us now as we move forward."

The deal is subject to approval from New Zealand's Overseas Investment Office (OIO).