By Chris Nicholls
MELBOURNE: JB Hi-Fi has upgraded their predictions for total store numbers in Australia and New Zealand to 150, up from their previous estimate of 120 stores, and hinted at smaller stores for less densely-populated areas.
The company said they expected the 150 stores to be of a similar size and sales volume to their current 85 JB Hi-Fi branded stores. While they did not give a timeline for this store roll-out, JB said they expected to open 13-15 new stores each year for the next four to five years.
However, JB Hi-Fi revealed they would look at opening smaller format stores carrying similar product categories in smaller consumer catchment areas. JB said they would focus more on these store types as it drew closer to the 150 store target.
“We have learned a lot about where we can open JB stores in the past year or two, as we continued our rollout, introducing new categories and our established stores have matured. The addition of new stores into established cities such as Melbourne, combined with our successful expansion into smaller shopping centres and regional centres, such as Ballarat and Townsville, has materially extended the universe of property opportunities in Australia and New Zealand, said JB Hi-Fi chief executive Richard Uechtritz.
“We have a very strong retail model, which has been strengthened by the recent addition of games, computers and telecommunications. Close to half our stores are still to complete this three year maturity ramp-up and with so many store opportunities, we remain very excited about the growth opportunities over the coming years.”
Uechtritz also said the improving performance of the Clive Anthonys chain in New South Wales had also given the company another boost.