By Patrick Avenell

BRISBANE: WOW Sight & Sound, the electrical retailer based largely in Queensland, is continuing its gradual entry into the southern states by announcing that their new Shepparton and Canberra stores will be open before Christmas 2008.

Although a household name in Queensland, which is home to 9 of the 12 WOW stores, the retailer currently only has non-Queensland stores in Darwin, Coffs Harbour and Albury. Due to this lack of widespread exposure, the WOW brand has been able to grow very strong in its homestate whilst not receiving the levels of attention associated with Harvey Norman or JB HiFi.

This relative anonymity, however, began to be challenged at the start of 2008, when the WOW group signed on as the shirt-front, major sponsor of the Brisbane Broncos NRL team. The popularity and marketability of the Broncos is unquestionable; evidenced by the team having played 13 of their 19 games so far this season on free-to-air TV. This newfound exposure, especially in New South Wales and Canberra, has precipitated the move into these new regions.

The two new stores will be opening in time for the Christmas frenzy, which will provide a positive kick-start to the new stores. As with all WOW stores, these outlets will be centrally owned and operated, with WOW Sight & Sound general manager retail Don Mayne confirming that franchising is not part of the WOW business model.

The new Canberra store will be based in Fyshwick, therefore going head-to-head with new JB Hi-Fi and Clive Anthony’s stores. The exact dates of store openings will be reported as they become known.