By Matthew Henry

MANUKAU, NEW ZEALAND: Dick Smith Electronics will open its second PowerHouse store in New Zealand this weekend at Manukau City following the successful introduction of the PowerHouse concept to the country.

Although New Zealand has 52 Woolworths-owned Dick Smith Electronics stores and 13 authorised distributors, the PowerHouse concept has to date only been trialed in Hamilton in the company’s first large-footprint store.

Dick Smith Electronics PowerHouse New Zealand general manager, Stu Meadows, said the new store opening at Manukau is a significant step for the retailer in New Zealand.

“Traditionally we have been about supplying technology and electronics equipment to trade and home users, but technology and home entertainment are rapidly converging and we’ve identified a real opportunity in the market to bring these products together under one roof,” said Meadows.

The Hamilton store was considered a test site for the company, and was upgraded last August from 1,200 square metres to 2,000 square metres.

“We opened in May 2004, but within a year it was obvious that we needed to nearly double the trading area, and we opened the expanded store in August last year. At the same time, we started looking for suitable sites in other areas,” said Meadows.

Manukau is said to be the fastest growing city in New Zealand.

The 2000 square metre Manukau PowerHouse site is located close to the city centre at 5 Ronwood Avenue, and will be opened by Manukau’s acting mayor, Councilor Anne Candy.

The new store will be the twentieth PowerHouse to open, with 18 located in Australia. Woolworths has also flagged a move into India with the PowerHouse retail concept, but the company has not yet announced any new store openings in the country.