Although Dick Smith Electronics has more than 100 stores throughout Australia, the retailer has, until now, foregone the superstore concept. However, that's all changed with the introduction of the PowerHouse, a 2,000-square-metre superstore located in Bankstown.
Dick Smith Electronics managing director Jeff Grover told Australian Reseller News the store is divided into five areas of specialty: communications, computers, electronics, entertainment and music. "The idea is that all of these areas are converging and in a lot of instances one item could logically exist in more than one area - if not all of them," he said. Additionally, the PowerHouse, which carries more than 20,000 products, includes a play area for children, an Internet bar, a Telstra kiosk, a Ham radio shack and an on-site technical service centre, Grover said.
Providing customers with a hands-on shopping experience is a big part of the PowerHouse concept, Grover says. "The store includes a fully functioning home office setting where computers, printers and fax machines are on hand for customers to try before they buy," he said. "There is also a home theatre demonstration area where customers can compare any combination of stereo or television equipment."
So why Bankstown? "We researched the demographics and infrastructure of a number of areas and found that Bankstown provides a wide cross-section of customers, is centrally located and is accessible by a number of routes," Grover said. "Space was also a consideration. The PowerHouse is six to eight times larger than the average Dick Smith store, so it's quite different to just opening a shopfront somewhere."