In what started as a trickle and became a flow, Strathfield Group Limited (SGL) is turning up the tap with the first stand-alone Software Today store outside of Queensland.
According to SGL's national IT products manager Paul Gleeson, the concept store is soon to open on Parramatta Road, Auburn in Sydney's west.
SGL acquired the ailing Queensland- based Software Today (ST) business last year and has gone about rebuilding the store brand and incorporating it into the Strathfield Group, Gleeson said.
There are currently 16 dual-branded ST and Brisbane Car Sound (SGL's Queensland livery) in the sunshine state, as well as the dual ST and Strathfield stores in Tamworth and Grafton in northern NSW, Gleeson explained.
`But this is our first separate Software Today store since we acquired that business, and as far as we know there is nothing else like it,' Gleeson said.
It is also the first IT-only retail outlet for SGL and the signs are that the group is putting its not too inconsiderable weight behind a successful launch. Gleeson described it as a factory outlet concept that will feature discounted or close out stocks in substantial quantities of software and hardware, including complete systems from AST, Compaq and Acer.
Gleeson was reticent to describe the target market, saying he did not want to give the competition any warning, but it is clear that, like the other SGL-owned computer outlets, there is a focus on SOHO and home products, with appeal to a wide audience. `We want to establish ourselves first before talking about our market, but we believe there are many customers looking for more than what is on offer at present,' Gleeson asserted.
He also believes that independent retailers such as SGL have an advantage over the mass merchandisers, painting them as part-time players in the computer business. `The likes of Harvey Norman, Vox group, Myer Grace Bros and David Jones don't always have the latest release software on day one. Software Today will,' he touted.
The Auburn store is expected to be up and running with `huge opening offers' by the end of November, just in the peak pre-Christmas sales boom, and, according to Gleeson, there are plans for more such outlets.