Retail giant Coles Myer Limited has introduced its version of the superstore concept to "Australia's largest market" with the launch of a Megamart at Auburn in Sydney's west.
A 10,000 square metre store, Coles Myer's Auburn Megamart is the sixth such store the Myer Grace Bros division has opened in Australia but the first in Sydney. It will operate under the Grace Bros brand.
While the concept combines a large range of furniture and electronics, Myer Grace Bros managing director Dawn Robertson said PCs and associated IT hardware, software and accessories represented "a growing category" for the group. "It is a crucial component of the Megamart concept, which caters to the entire home package."
Megamart managing director James Galloway said IT and related products occupy approximately 15 per cent of the floor space in Megamart stores but he would not be drawn on how much it contributes to revenues. Galloway said the Megamart stores offer the most comprehensive IT range Myer Grace Bros has ever assembled. It also includes an upgrade centre where technicians can custom-configure PCs to suit the specific needs of individual customers.
"We have thousands of products on the shelves here at Megamart and access to tens of thousands of others through our sister company Harris Technology, which can be accessed by the sales staff," he said.
Galloway said the Auburn store is the first such store in Sydney but it will not be the last. He was guarded on when and where others would open but said "at least two are already planned and scheduled". Announcements would be withheld until the success of the concept in Sydney was confirmed.
Robertson said she was not daunted by the fact that Auburn is also the home of the new Harvey Norman superstore, which is just up the road.
"The Megamart concept has been very successful in Brisbane, Melbourne and Perth," she said. "We are confident it will be just as successful in Australia's largest market. The fact that there are a range of huge retail premises on this road [Parramatta Road, Auburn] is a good thing. Retail clusters attract the customers."
Megamart has one other ace up its sleeve to win the hearts of the customers, Robertson said. It is offering what it calls a "complete low-price guarantee" which operates across all brands in the store. Each day, floor staff in each section will reassess their prices to ensure they are offering the lowest prices and will advertise heavily on the price guarantee.
"We check our prices against all competitors every day and mark down our prices to ensure that we are at that level," she said. "Customers don't have to shop around. They can come here confident in the knowledge that we have the best prices in town."
Coles Myer's first Myer Grace Bros Megamart opened in Coorparoo, Queensland in 1998 and subsequent Victorian stores have been launched in Sunshine, Chadstone and Thomastown as well as in the Perth CBD.