JB Hi-Fi to open new Sydney and Melbourne CBD stores

By Chris Nicholls

MELBOURNE: JB Hi-Fi has announced it will open a second Sydney CBD store on February 28 in Pitt Street Mall, as well as a second computer/IT-only store in Melbourne’s CBD.

The Pitt Street Mall location will be in the basement of the Strand Arcade’s, a site previously occupied by Downtown Duty Free. 

Chief executive Richard Uechtritz said the new Sydney store will help increase their Sydney market share, after the closing of Brazin’s Pitt Street Mall HMV store last year.

“We are excited to have secured a store in such a prominent location. Our existing store in the CBD has been overtrading for some time and with Brazin closing the HMV Pitt Street Mall store, we saw an opportunity to increase our market share, as well as introduce to the city a substantial technology offering.”

In a separate interview with Current.com.au, Uechtritz confirmed his comments meant the new store would include more computers and IT than the current store.

"That’s one of the reasons we’re putting it there," he said.

He said the chain’s two stores in Melbourne’s CBD already traded well, and boded well for the second Sydney store.

JB Hi-Fi’s third Melbourne store, which will open in Early February, will be dedicated entirely to computers and IT and located on Elizabeth Street, close to its current Elizabeth Street location.

Uechtritz denied the store was a new concept or direction for the company, though.

“This is not a change of direction or the start of a new store concept. It is simply that our existing Elizabeth Street store has insufficient space to merchandise a full range of computers and accessories, which has quickly become a core category for the business.”

"If we thought it was good business, we’d be rolling out computer stores accross the country and that’s not the case."

JB Hi-Fi will release its 2008 half year results on February 12.

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