In August, Dick Smith will transform its business model with the launch of a new retail brand, ConnectedHome where it will sell small appliances, CEO, Nick Abboud confirmed in an exclusive interview with Appliance Retailer yesterday.
100 existing Dick Smith stores throughout the country will be rebranded ConnectedHome with the first transformation now underway at the company’s George St store in the heart of the competitive Sydney retail precinct.
On August 16, this store will relaunch with around 20% of its existing floorspace devoted to small appliances. The store is entered from the footpath by downward escalators, opening into a wide horizontal space. The left of the entrance will now be restocked with small appliance product, displays and promotions.
“The left wall of that store will soon be full of appliances,” Abboud said.
The next store to relaunch a few weeks later will be Penrith located around 70 km from the city, which also has the large store format Abboud says he needs to introduce the new category. The rollout of these stores will progress until 100 are opened between now and Christmas. There will be a full media launch of the ConnectedHome concept just before Christmas through catalogue, television, online and direct marketing.
Abboud, who spent 19 years with Myer before joining Dick Smith, said that one of the keys to his strategy has been the recruitment of Bita Lowry, former small appliances buyer for Myer. He described Lowry, who also spent 19 years rising through the ranks at Myer as, “the best small appliances buyer in the industry”. Lowry came over to Dick Smith several weeks ago and has hit the ground running.
As well as working with suppliers, she has spent the past week as part of a massive training exercise with 800 of Dick Smith staff who attended its Conference and supplier Expo.