New format stores and discounting a winner for Dick Smith

By Keri Algar

SYDNEY, NSW: The new format Dick Smith stores are growing at a greater rate than the older Dick Smith stores, according to a report released today on the Australian Securities Exchange.

“Australian Dick Smith stores (excluding Tandy and ex-Powerhouse stores) achieved comparable sales of 6.5 per cent for the half. The result reflects the strong customer acceptance of the continued roll out of our new refreshed Dick Smith offer and significant investment in price reductions which has resulted in market share growth in key categories such as computers, navigation and LCD TVs,” said the report.

Consumer electronics in Australia grew a moderate 2.3 per cent during the first half, bolstered by a 3.4 per cent growth in the second quarter. Comparable store sales for the first half were 4.1 per cent and 4.8 per cent for the second quarter.

“Total sales growth is lower than comparable sales growth due to ongoing transitioning of the business and the subsequent closure of smaller unprofitable stores.”

While the report acknowledged the impact of the continued tightening of consumer spending, increased savings levels, interest rates rises, price deflation and increases in utility costs, the Australian business has fared better than its trans-Tasman cousin. New Zealand sales decreased 4.3 per cent in the first quarter and 5.9 per cent for the second quarter.

Woolworths Limited reported a 4 per cent sales growth to $28.3 billion.

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