By Sarah Falson
SUNSHINE, MELBOURNE: Retravision Sunshine, the first of the electrical retail chain’s ‘new concept’ stores, is trading above expectations after its first week, with its store manager naming the Apple iPod range of mp3 players as the hero product in the lead-up to Christmas.
The 2090 square metres store, which is one of the largest in Australia, represents a new generation of Retravision Superstores, according to Retravision Vic-Tas retail operations manager, Brad Smith.
“One of the key criterias when designing this store was to maximise customer traffic flow throughout the store. With this in mind we have incorporated timber look walkways that flow through each department within the store. Integrated into these walkways are various merchandising ‘hot spots’ that will feature hero products for all related product categories.
“The store layout is made up of two large showrooms that are joined together by a centrally-located customer service counter.”
The store is about 90 per cent full with stock, with some computer and iPod gear still holding up the back end, says store manager, Michael Maasr.
“iPod will be the hot product for Christmas,” he told Current.com.au.
Maasr and the team have been advertising heavily through the past week, with a balloon and signage on the store that reads, ‘Now Open’, and advertising in local newspapers and on the radio.
At this stage, Maasr isn’t sure how many customers have passed through the store, but he confirmed that patronage was “above expectations”.
According to Maasr, the store’s location, on Harvester Road in Sunshine, is a prime spot for both passing traffic and purpose-visit customers.
“The shopping centre across the road has plenty of parking,” says Maasr.
“We are planning on having a jumping castle and sausage sizzle across there as soon as the weather gets better.”
Nearby Melbourne had one of its hottest days on record yesterday, with the temperature reaching 42 degrees. Hot, strong winds and fire hazards have been staving off Sunshine’s festivities for a week now.
Despite homes being evacuated due to bushfires in the east and south-east of Victoria, the western town of Sunshine was beginning its Christmas shopping over the weekend, and patronage in the store was on track, said Maasr.
When asked if he thought the store needed any changes to its layout, now he had seen it in action, Massr said: “Absolutely not. Feedback from customers and retailers has been fantastic – the flow of the store is good, the visuals from front to back are superb, and the customers really like it. There are no tight, cramped areas, the aisles are big, and there is lots of space.”
The Sunshine store is generally staffed by 10 sales people at all times. According to Maasr the location will hold a grand opening sale early in the New Year.