By Claire Reilly

SYDNEY, NSW: JB Hi-Fi’s new brand-based concept store has launched in Sydney’s Pitt Street Mall, giving the company a chance to “experiment” with their traditional store model, according to JB Hi-Fi CEO Terry Smart.

Speaking exclusively to, Smart said that while the brand-focused format would not be used in all of JB’s stores, the company does “see elements of it being rolled out to the greater stores”.

“It just gives us that chance to experiment. It helps to showcase brands, and really puts the emphasis on suppliers to come up with good merchandising solutions for their own products, and we can take elements of that and really then roll that into the greater JB,” said Smart.

Click here to sign up for our FREE daily newsletter

The concept store, which opened its doors in late April, is situated in the newly built Westfield complex. Rather than working on a category-based merchandising format, the store focuses on specific brand-based displays, such as an Apple display that boasts over 200 products according to Macquarie equities research analysts.

Macquarie reports that the store has moved away from traditional JB products such as CDs and DVDs in favour of a greater focus on consumer electronics. Smart admits that consumers are now much savvier when it comes to purchasing these types of electronics.

“There’s no doubt that people now enter into retail stores very well educated on what they’re after,” said Smart. “They’ve done a lot of research, they’ve researched online and they come in, and they can actually now just go straight to that brand that they may have preference for.”

“It doesn’t stop them from being exposed to other brands, and especially within the concept store they get a chance to walk around and see what’s best from the other suppliers.”

Despite teething problems in the initial stages of the Westfield opening, Smart says the concept store has received a positive response.

 “There’s still a lot of work in the centre to be done, especially…on level six around us, but we’re getting a good deal of interest in the store [and] we’re getting a good amount of traffic through, especially around the lunchtimes and late-night trade,” said Smart. “We’re pleased with the start.”