One of Australia's largest retail entities, the Electronic Enterprises Group, has branched out into computer retailing, with the signing up of 85 outlets under the banner of Leading Edge Computers, part of Leading Edge Group.
The move parallels similar rebadging of the Electronic Enterprises hi-fi, TV and video stores from Electronic Enterprises to Leading Edge.
While each of the stores under the Leading Edge Computers banner will continue to be independently owned and operated, they will enjoy the buying power of a group of 85 outlets.
"This will give each of them as much buying power as one of the leading retail chains such as Harvey Norman," said Joe Langley, managing director of Leading Edge Group.
Leading Edge will provide technical support including EFTPOS, as well as marketing support, such as preparing catalogues.
The company is convinced its marketing savvy, combined with the strong local identity of independent retailers, will make the Leading Edge Computers chain the largest computer retailer in Australia in a few years.
"It's not that these computer retailers were not already successful," said Langley. "They are - but the potential for increased exposure through promotional campaigns was huge."
Where retailers already enjoy a substantial local brand awareness, this will continue to be displayed alongside the Leading Edge banner. However, in most cases it is expected the retailer will rely entirely on the Leading Edge signage for the outlet.
The initial group of 85 computer stores across Australia is expected to top the 100 mark by the end of this year, and the group is open to accepting new members.
Together with the Leading Edge stores for hi-fi/TV, recorded music and telecomms products, the Leading Edge Group will have more than 600 retail outlets.
Leading Edge Group
Tel (02) 9988 3499
Fax (02) 9988 3433