CEO reveals: ‘We’ve thought about renaming Clive Anthonys’

Clive Anthonys, the major appliance arm of the JB Hi-Fi group, may be set for a name change to avoid confusion with Clive Peeters, according to CEO Richard Uechtritz. The idea has been mooted before, and if it weren’t for the stores’ brand name recognition in Queensland, it most likely would already have been changed.

“When you’ve got a store you’ve bought and you’ve got some brand name recognition in Queensland, where most of Clive Anthonys is, it’s hard to go through a name change process, it’s not the ideal name, considering the similarity between Clive Peeters,” said Uechtritz.

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Although Uechtritz told Appliance Retailer that a name change would help differentiate the Clive Anthonys brand, and avoid consumers erroneously associating it with Clive Peeters, previous thinktanks on the subject have come to nought.

“It’s something we’ve considered a number of times, but we keep coming back to the same conclusion, that we’ve got brand equity in Queensland in that business, and it’s a bit silly to start opening up stores in Melbourne or wherever under a different name,” Uechtritz said.

The owners of Clive Anthonys and Clive Peeters could not have had more different years. JB Hi-Fi is riding high at the moment, fresh from a record profit announcement and a surge in the share price up to over $23. Clive Peeters is currently recovering from a $20 million defrauding scandal, and whilst it share price is on the way up, its current price of 64 cents is well below expectations.

Whatever movement there is on the Clive Anthonys front, it won’t be in the short term. Uechtritz said that whilst the stores are making money, any expansion plans have been postponed since the start of the global financial crisis. Whitegoods, which forms the core of Clive Anthonys’ business, is heavily dependent on a strong housing market, and that has led to a slowdown across the retail board.

“I think the whitegoods, cooking side of the business is not as strong as the audio/visual and home entertainment side of the business, and we’re seeing that reflected in the sales,” said Uechtritz.

“I think you’ll see that reflected in the sales of Harvey Norman or Clive Peeters or whoever, there’s a lot less sales growth than JB Hi-Fi.”

Appliance Retailer has contacted Clive Peeters CEO Greg Smith for comment.

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