Dick Smith’s Move concept pioneers “fashtronics” with first store opening

(Click here to see our full image gallery from the Move store preview opening)

Move, a new concept store that fuses fashion and consumer electronics together, is opening its doors this Saturday at Sydney’s Westfield Bondi Junction.

The new retail concept store, which is backed by Dick Smith, is expected to attract young fashionistas — male and female — looking to make a fashion statement with their latest tech products and accessories according to Dick Smith CEO Nick Abboud.

“This is the launch of something first in the world where we’re bringing fashion and technology together,” Abboud said.

“While we are starting in Australia, we believe this category has an opportunity to blend the fashion side of the business with the electronics side of the business to what we call ‘fashtronics’ and we want to bring that to the world.”

The store carries top brands, such as Apple, Samsung, Sony and Bang & Olufsen, across categories including headphones, laptops, smartphones and accessories such as cases and bags. For Abboud, the focus for Move is on products, not price.

“We have $1.3 billion in buying power and we are one of the largest retailers in the category and it has allowed us to get a competitive position on prices every day,” he said.

“But the value for us is not the price; it’s about having the latest products and letting people know we have it at Move compared to other electronics or telco stores that will just have a few boring accessories. So we think Move will be competitive in that sense.”

To further enhance the fashion focus, the company has worked with New York-based Australian model, stylist and blogger Alexandra Spencer who has curated a range of her favourite technology products that are on display in store. In addition to this, Australian fashion duo Romance Was Born has designed a limited edition range of smartphone accessories exclusively for Move.

According to Abboud, the plan to work with other fashion designers and influencers will be an ongoing project for the retailer.

“Our demographics are A-grade demographics — the younger consumer who wants to spend on their iPad or iPhone but also want the latest cover because it’s a fashion statement,” he said. “That’s what we really want to provide at Move.

“Move will be located in high fashion locations and we thought Bondi Junction was a great place to open our first store. It’s a black-label shopping centre and is the number two shopping centre in Australia.’

The 150-square metre store has been designed to stimulate the consumers’ senses through sight, smell, touch and sound. For example, the store’s aroma will change to fit with the current theme while the music will change depending on the time of day.

Customers will also able to customise their accessories at the ‘Fitting Room’, using scrapbooks and fashion magazines as inspiration, before putting in their orders at provided computers in store. Customers will also be able share their designs via brand screens integrated in the store.

The staff has also been trained to mimic the quality of customer service found in prestigious international fashion boutiques, such as handling products at check-out with gloves.

“When we look at retail where stores are closing down that forces innovation and when there is no innovation you see the store move out and be replaced by something else,” Abboud said.

“So we have to continually reinvent ourselves and Move allows us to be the first to drive young male and female consumers to spend on the latest and greatest in technology.”

Heading the Move operation is Dick Smith director of multichannel Michael Dykes who has been appointed as director of Move and customer strategy.

While Move is a Dick Smith-owned retailer, the two retail brands will operate as separate entities and the store will not be involved in the Dick Smith and David Jones partnership, according to Abboud.

“We believe all three are separate,” he said.

“Michael’s leadership is all about Move and his teamed is focused on the Move business. We have a separate team for Dick Smith and David Jones. It’s important you get passionate about each brand and that you build its own DNA.”

The next Move store is due to open April/May 2014 in Emporium Melbourne, a shopping destination that will also be also home to the first Uniqlo store in Australia.

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