Mutual goals and Winning mentorship behind Electro Seconds sale, and a word of caution

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This author is on Twitter: @Patrickavenell

Electro Seconds cofounder Behrouz Bolurieh has spoken in detail about the motivation behind selling his nascent factory outlet chain to the Winning Group, where it will come under that company’s Appliances Online umbrella.

Bolurieh, who likes to be known as Baz, said Appliances Online founder and Winning Group CEO John Winning’s character and business acumen was a key factor in the sale.

“John and his team have always been inspirational to me so the opportunity to join the Winning team and being able to utilise a century of experiences and resources was the main motivator behind my decision,” Baz said in an interview.

“Appliances Online was planning to further establish its clearance store and cater for a different niche in the marketplace whilst we were trying to connect the dots to take our business model national. We got together and discussed how we could join forces and we made it happen!”

A key part of John Winning’s appeal for Baz is his youthful entrepreneurial spirit. Baz is only 24 years old, a few years younger than Winning, and he is looking forward to being mentored by retailing prodigy.

“I think only a young executive like John Winning would give someone like me the opportunity to head up Australia’s largest online retailer’s first bricks and mortar store and it would be ideal if the rest of our industry executives followed through on giving opportunities to youngsters in their team and to support their initiatives and ideas.”

Baz said a greater focus on the careers of 20-somethings would greatly increase their potential to make a career in retailing, rather than view it is a casual job. This way, Baz said, “all stakeholders will be able to benefit from the younger generation’s talents and youthfulness”.

Clearance and factory seconds retailing has become a particularly vibrant space over the past few years, with more retailers and retail groups entering what was once the near exclusive purview of 2nds World. It has been suggested by sources close to these new seconds retailers that the reason for the rash of new openings is because traditional bricks and mortar retailers are receiving more and more returns from recently opened and expanded online businesses. Retailer X, for example, opens and aggressively promotes a new online venture, resulting in a lot of sales. But because of teething problems, deliveries are delayed, boxes become damaged and the products suffer superficial bumps and scratches. To void this stock, Retailer X opens a factory seconds store.

“The reason our products are categorised as clearance or factory seconds is purely due to the fact that they may be missing a carton box, could have a minor cosmetic imperfection on them or could simply be a factory runout model that is well below its RRPs and, of course, we also have access to all the brand new in box and current model stock that is available on the market from all the major brands,” Baz said.

Peter Hammerman is the owner of 2nds Worlds, the most famous retail brand name in this space. He said that it was a compliment to have rival retailers open similar style stores, mentioning both the Winning Group and Harvey Norman. He did, however, also offer a word of caution. “We have a very loyal and good customer base and we are specialist in this area — you can’t just open a store and hope it works.”

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