By Ian Neubauer

SYDNEY: Queensland retailer WOW Sight & Sound confirmed the upcoming opening of an unspecified number of new outlets in rural NSW. The openings follow the launch of WOW’s 11th outlet in Cairns in August and indicate the company’s ambitions outside its home state.

WOW sight & Sound national sales manager, Don Mayne, said today the new stores are scheduled to open in November.

“We will be opening stores along the Victorian-NSW border. We have a fairly substantial growth strategy for 2008,” Mayne said, adding that he could not disclose exact locations as the company was still negotiating to secure sites for the new stores.

Mayne said WOW’s newest store in Cairns has exceeded all expectations in terms of sales, profitability and staff performance. He said the store’s biggest selling category were large-format flatscreen TVs.

“Like most of the market, our large screen TV business is going gangbusters. But we are not in the same situation as others because we forecasted high sales and placed bulk orders with suppliers to meet those forecast,” Mayne said, referring to a nationwide shortage of flatscreen TVs.

Skyrocketing demand for flatscreen TVs, caused by unprecedented price point depreciation, has led to a situation where distributors are unable to match retailer’s demand for products in the category. Reports of retailers ordering 100 units in order to secure a delivery of 10 have surfaced across the board, with many retailers having to turn away customers because of the lack of stock.