Aussie retailer eyes NZ

Australian retail group, Leading Edge, is looking to strengthen its foothold in the New Zealand market.

The Leading Edge Group purchased 15 retail stores from Telecom NZ last year and is ready to explore opportunities for further growth.

This week more than 600 Leading Edge Technology Group members and suppliers will arrive in Auckland for a five-day conference aimed at educating retailers through workshops, planning sessions and group discussions.

Divisions represented at the conference include NZ communications, electronics, computers and telecoms.

Leading Edge marketing manager, Craig Kirby, said he would get a feel for how the land lay during the conference.

"There will be quite a few resellers coming along so we'll be putting the feelers out for how to bring in our computer and electronic divisions," he said.

Leading Edge was set up in 1986 as a buying group to help independent retailers achieve a higher level of purchasing power. By 1997 individual groups came together under the Leading Edge Group brand name and today it boasts more than 1300 stores in Australia covering the video, music, books, housewares and jewellery markets. Annual turnover for the Group is more than $1.5 billion.

Established six months ago, Leading Edge Electronics is the company's newest venture and already has more than 60 members. Leading Edge Computers services has over 140 member retail outlets throughout Australasia.

Kirby said the company's first foray into the local market was a success.

"It's now becoming relevant to expand," he said.

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