By Patrick Avenell
BRISBANE, QLD: With WOW Sight & Sound’s fifth store in Brisbane open and trading, attention is now shifting to the group’s next venture, its first Canberra store.
Talking at the launch of WOW’s Oxley store, its 14th overall, retail director Con Nicolas told Current.com.au that the WOW experience carnival is now rolling onto the nation’s capital.
“Now that we’ve got this one out of the way, Canberra’s all ready to go,” said Nicolas.
In preparation of this move, Nicolas has the Canberra staff working in the Oxley store, which should reduce teething problems when the doors are opened.
“We’ve even got Canberra staff working up here in Brisbane at the moment. We’ve got the manager, who’s been working here for the last two months, and we’ve got the 2ICs, the department heads, working.
“They helped with the preparation and the set up of this store. They’ll go back down to Canberra to set that store up.”
When asked for a specific launch date for the Canberra store, Nicolas was hesitant to provide any definite answer.
“We’ve got end of financial year, we’ve got this store that’s just opened.
“We’re hoping in the next few weeks to get that open, but definitely by August, by the end of August that store will be open.”
WOW’s first Canberra store will be in Fyshwick, an industrial area known for its high number of large format destination stores. Already there is Bing Lee, Harvey Norman, Good Guys, Clive Anthonys, Retravision and a number of independents and specialists. WOW’s site will be owned and developed by its parent company, the SSI Group. Although this has been the standard thus far for WOW, after this next store is opened, the Group will begin investigating other real estate options, including lease holds.
“What we’ve decided as a group is that we want to open up stores. What we’re going to do is leaseholds, so there’s a lot more opportunities with sites.
“So going forward, what we’ll be doing as a company is we’ll be leasing stores. We’ve already been to Canberra and identified sites, so once we get Fyshwick out of the way, we’ll start to prioritise some of these sites.”