By Ian Neubauer

AUCKLAND: JB Hi-Fi is solidifying its push into New Zealand’s retail appliance sector with the opening of a retail outlet on November 1 at the new Westfield Albany shopping centre in Auckland.

The Melbourne-based company has opened three retail outlets in Auckland since arriving in New Zealand in March of this year with plans to open three more stores in the first half of 2008.

“All the stores are trading well and meeting profit expectations,” said JB chief executive, Richard Uechtritz.

Uechtritz said the New Zealand market represented an attractive expansion opportunity for JB Hi-Fi because of the demographic similarities between Australia and New Zealand.

“The population base and culture is not too dissimilar from ours and it’s easy to manage from Australia,” he said.

“We are tyring to duplicate exactly the same concept we have here. You could walk into a JB Hi-Fi store anywhere in New Zealand and the feeling would be that you are in an Australian store. We have a successful formula and we don’t feel we need to change it for New Zealand,” he said.

JB Hi-Fi Albany is scheduled to open on November 1. Launch dates for the new stores in 2008 are yet to be announced, though the company confirmed the stores will open in the greater Auckland area.