City Software closes stores

City Software closes stores

Retailer places more emphasis on online business, offering customers better discounts and service.

Retailer, City Software, will be closing its two stores by the end of this financial year to place a stronger focus on its online and call centre business.

The company had two shopfronts in Victoria and North Sydney in NSW. CEO, Lorenzo Coppa, said the stores were never a core part of City Software's business.

"We experimented with basic pick-up points as a complement to the online business for customers, but we found that most customers were choosing to have it delivered to them, which was more convenient," he said. "We didn't really see the stores offering much value to our customers."

As a result of the closure, three Sydney staff have been made redundant. All Victorian staff have joined the company's Mount Waverly office.

Through operating a more online type model, Coppa said he was able to offer customers faster dispatch and better discounts.

"One of the difficulties we've had with stores is that you can't really offer the same price that you're selling products for online. It's very hard to turn a decent profit and it doesn't offer an advantage," he said. "There are so many good retailers out there and we don't plan to replicate that. Online is more of an effective way to interact with the company, and customers are getting better answers to their questions from our trained call centre staff."

Davin Miller was appointed earlier this year as the company's general manager of its consumer business. He has taken on responsibility for online and the call centre unit.

"We think that by having that focus, we will be able to put a lot more of our energy in growing that part of the business," Coppa said. "It does offer us a good differentiation against the traditional retailers in the consumer market."

Coppa said City Software had experienced strong growth in its corporate, CSW-IT business, helped along by the restructure of the team. The company has hired a NSW state manager, Murray Harding, and Victorian state manager, Alistaar Yon.

Coppa said the company was on track to top its 23 per cent gross profit growth targets.

"We have taken on a number of Commander staff and are starting to see some good sales results from that," he said. "The restructure and beefing up the amount of sales people has resulted in the growth we've had so far and we're expecting a lot more going forward."

The company has also re-launched its website. Coppa said the site features an improved product range, more product information and it aims to make it simpler for customers to find promotions on the website.

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