Yet another computer "superstore" commenced trading recently, but this time with a difference. Operating 100 per cent on the Internet with no shop-front premises, E-Store (www.estore.com.au) is burdened by none of the traditional retail overheads inflating prices or reducing margins, according to its managing director, Steven Spilly.
Spilly claims E-Store will eventually offer more than 30,000 computer products to all sorts of corporate and consumer on-line shoppers and he is "guaranteeing them the lowest prices in Australia on every item".
"We want to concentrate on providing the best brands at the lowest prices," said Spilly. "That gives a clear message to the market that they are not getting lower prices because of inferior brands. It eliminates a lot of the consumer's fears."
Launched earlier this month, E-Store is attracting existing and new Internet shoppers via a strong and targeted advertising campaign including banner ads on popular search engine sites and traditional print media.
Spilly said the company was being "financed by a number of private investors from both Australia and overseas" and that its initial results have been "extremely pleasing".
"We are delighted with how it has been going from day one," he said. "We have quoted on some major contracts that we were contacted about and feel we are in a good position to win some of that business."
E-Store sells "the full gamut" of computer products from networking, through software and onto branded PCs, consumables and peripherals. Spilly said that E-Store differentiates itself from other large e-commerce computer superstores by being "built from day one as an online computer superstore".
"There has been no baggage from it being an extension of an existing reseller model," Spilly said. "From the start we have been thinking of the Internet consumer and what they are looking for. It is not an add-on to our shop-front, it is our shop-front.
"They [online competitors] can bring out a site that is just as good as ours in look and feel, but at the end of the day unless they eliminate their current business model, then they are not going to be able to guarantee lower prices like we can.
Spilly also said that E-Store differs from some of the "zero-margin" sites in the US because "we have margin".
"The difference is that we have based the whole business model on e-commerce. We don't have a lot of the traditional costs involved with being a reseller," he said.