Retailers cautious over Dick Smith

Retailers cautious over Dick Smith

Local resellers are feeling cautiously confident as yet another Dick Smith PowerHouse sets up shop, this time in the new homemaker complex at Sydney's North Parramatta.

Dick Smith Electronics bills the PowerHouse concept as an important part of its growth strategy, and it seems securing prime locations such as its Macquarie Centre Powerhouse are having a significant effect on its competitors.

Nick Dhami, store manager at Tandy Electronics Parramatta, said the Macquarie PowerHouse had killed 50 per cent of the business at Tandy's store in the centre. "That was one of our busiest stores and they opened a PowerHouse right above [our store]," said Dhami.

"We have the advantage of being in Westfield so I don't think we will feel the impact too much. People already come here to do their shopping, and we have a fairly friendly relationship with the existing Dick Smith shop in the area," he continued.

"If we don't have something, we will often send customers over there and they do the same [for us]. I know I have better customer service than they do and that counts too. But if [the new PowerHouse] was in Westfield I would be worried."Dick Smith's North Parramatta store is the seventh PowerHouse opened by the company and it has solid plans to roll out more across the country. The other stores are located at Macquarie, Bankstown, Penrith, Moore Park (NSW) and Carnegie and Nunawading in Victoria. Dick Smith also operates 126 regular stores in Australia and New Zealand.

According to Jeff Glover, managing director of Dick Smith, the focus and success of the stores is the convergence of consumer technology in the Australian community.

Like other PowerHouse stores, North Parramatta offers products according to four main "zones" - electronics, entertainment, communications and computers.

The communications zone includes a dedicated mobile phone kiosk, while the computers zone offers PCs and notebooks from HP, IBM, Compaq and Toshiba. The store also offers a PC upgrade service."

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