WOW! Massive expansion plan announced

By Patrick Avenell

MELBOURNE, VIC & BRISBANE, QLD: WOW Sight & Sound has this morning sent a clear message of intent to its retail rivals, announcing a goal of 25 new stores by 2013. This expansive move, which will see the retailer move further out of its native Queensland, will be funded by a cash injection by the National Australia Bank.

This is a particularly bullish move for the privately owned retailer, as it currently only has 15 stores, most of which are in Queensland. Previously, WOW’s owners, the SSI Group, has been both modest and tight-lipped about its expansion plans. WOW has a proven business model based around standardised shop formats and targeted product ranges, making this news a real threat to established retailers.

 “Our aim is to add another 25 stores nationwide in the next three years, subject to market conditions and site availability. It is a very exciting and dynamic time for the WOW brand,” said WOW managing director Sam Savvas.

 “We had discussions with a number of interested parties in 2009 but the package offered by NAB was the most comprehensive and best aligned to our vision for WOW,” he said.  “2010 is going to be a milestone year for the company.

“The NAB investment supports our drive to make WOW a truly iconic national retail brand and we look forward to working with them to achieve our growth goals.”

The news of this investment will also be a blow to other retailers currently struggling to encourage investment. Current.com.au understands that at least two Australian retail groups are currently seeking cash injections.

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