Myer is seeking to send a shock through the retail computer industry with the opening of its first Myer Electric store two weeks ago.
Located on level four of Myer's Melbourne city store, the new concept shop features 4500 square metres of electrical devices. This includes a sizeable offering of computer products, including around 2000 software titles, PCs from IBM, Hewlett-Packard, Compaq, Packard Bell, Acer, and a Myer clone brand, as well as 2000 book titles. Interestingly, Myer Electric will also feature four models from Apple Computer, bucking the trend by Apple to pull out of mass merchant retailing (see story above).
Also inside the store is Australia's first Microsoft Concept Shop, featuring almost every Microsoft title available, along with three demonstration computers and dedicated staff. "There's no doubt that a lot of people were looking for some sort of retailer or dealer to come along and give more excitement and more ambience to their product," said national buyer for Myer computers, Frank Kavanagh.
Other features of Myer Electric include build-to-order concept buying of PCs with same-day home delivery, and an advice and upgrade centre. The store is also linked in with RMIT Computer Learning Centre.
Kavanagh says the store has received tremendous support from vendors and distributors, staff from which can be found attending several of the displays. For example, a special kids area features three demonstration PCs and is staffed by Dataflow personnel. "There's no doubt the key to our business is working with our suppliers and forming strategic long-term partnerships."
Kavanagh said the initial response to the store has surpassed expectations. "In the first three days we've exceeded budget in both sales and number of people through the door having a look.
Myer intends to open four Electric stores in the next 12 months.