By James Wells

SYDNEY: Clive Peeters expects two new stores at Auburn and Bella Vista in Sydney will turn around a disappointing foray by the retailer into the most competitive market in the country – New South Wales.

Clive Peeters managing director, Greg Smith, told the Australian Stock Exchange yesterday that the recent opening of the NSW Seconds Store in Auburn two weeks ago and the upcoming opening of its fifth superstore, located in Bella Vista, in August should help turn around the business, which suffered a 20 per cent slump in the retailer’s share price yesterday.

“This will give us improved leveraging of advertising and warehousing costs into [the 2008 financial year] and beyond.

“We always knew that the New South Wales market would be a difficult one to enter, but the Clive Peeters’ strategy is a sound one. For our aspiration to become a national retailer to be realised, we had to enter the New South Wales market at some stage. We are confident that the hardest year is behind us and that the benefits will be clearly seen in the years ahead,” Smith said.

Clive Peeters will look to provide further guidance on New South Wales trading conditions when it releases its final result for the 2007 financial year.