|There are three store-in-stores in the new Dick Smith Sydney Central flagship store in Westfield - Samsung, Sony, and Apple, a first for the retailer. |
"We kept it fairly quiet while we got our house in order," CEO Nick Abboud told media yesterday at the flagship store opening, admitting the "big challenge to the management team to rebuild the brand", adding to do it in eight months was an "important feat."
|Dick goes mobile |
Dick Smith want to "put innovation into the electronics category" he declared, referring to unique retail experiences like the store-in-store concept. It wants to be "famous for computers, accessories and mobility" and for consumers to think of DS as a "house of brands."
He also announced a partnership with Westfield, signing 7 new stores leases which will open between now and March 2014, and referred to other "strategic partners", revealing a new partnership with Apple that is focused on expansion.
For the first time, Dick Smith will offer post-paid mobile in September, as well as outright and pre-paid phones, as previous. It will offer device on the Think mobile network as well as the 'big 3' Telstra, Optus and Voda.
The store is also home to the first Dick Smith mobile store, where phones are divided up into budget, mid range and high end devices, with LG and Huawei taking up most of the low end devices, while Samsung Galaxy's has a counter of its own in the store-in-store.
Other key brands include Beats and Go Pro, and we eyed a very swanky Beats display. The headphone display also allows consumers hook up their own iPod or MP3 device, a pretty cool feature.
The store also has a full range of PC, iPads, notebooks including Ultrabook-tablet convertibles like Sony new Vaio, a category which is proving popular, a store employee told CN, as well as full range of accessories everything from HDMI cables to PC and mobile accessories.
|OOh, look its PS Vita!|
|Sydney Central is the first of many new stores scheduled for opening, with 17 taking place before the end of FY14. Dick Smith's Lilydale store in Melbourne, also opens today. |
|TV's including Sony's 4K are also part of the new line up|
The goal is to increase Dick Smith's footprint from 323 to over 400 stores in the next three years.
However, despite the major makeover by Anchorage Capital, who bought the business from Woolworth last year, he insists DS brand is "sticking to its roots"
"We're confident about the brand..we have lots of cash in the bank." And Anchorage, its new owners, can make the once deflated retailer rise to the top, its CEO insists.
"We're a powerful business, worth $1.3bn with no core debt"
"Retail is simple, its sometimes get complicated with management " he added, which may suggest something was rotton in the state of Woolies management team.
The Dick Smith brand is focused on "core categories....we're not going to dabble into areas our competitors are", Abboud declared, which could be referring the new hot category in electronics - appliances.
It is also stocking local as well as big name brands - "10% of turnover is Dick Smith own brand, "we want to move it to 20%," he said.
|Samsung Galaxy line up|