The new upmarket appliance retail concept from Western Australia retail mogul Rick Hart has softly opened its doors in Osborne Park this week ahead of an official launch expected in early November.

The new concept, first announced in February 2020, has been named Hart & Co to embrace the next generation of the family business with Hart’s children, Michael and Belinda, and long-time friend, Nicholas Kirby, joining the venture, while still building on the highly respected and iconic Hart brand in Western Australia. The directorship has combined industry and retail experience spanning more than 109 years.

The store, which measures 1,200 square metres, has been designed to move away from the traditional sales model of taking customers straight to the appliances. Instead, it allows customers to try before they buy with the opportunity to cook in an oven or wash in a washing machine before making a final purchase decision, according to marketing and experience director, Belinda Hart.

“Staff will ask customers a series of questions, including what appliances they currently used in their kitchen and what their past kitchens were like. We want to see how they will use the appliances,” she said.

Rick Hart added that most of the appliance retail market is highly competitive with a crowded middle market. “There is not so many in the real higher end and at the real bottom end, but that’s not to say there is no competition.”

The store has opened alongside Checkout Factory Outlet – the complementary retail concept from Rick Hart – which offers customers clearance product across electrical appliances, home product and bedding with a selection of superseded, slightly flawed, and ex-display stock, as well as opportunistic ‘new stock’ deals for bulk buying.

Supplier relationships are of the utmost importance

Email communication sent to suppliers from Belinda Hart, shared with Appliance Retailer said the team is in place and “beyond excited” to commence trading.

“Supplier relationships have always been of the utmost importance throughout our many years in the industry. We rather call it a partnership. We look to partner with you for mutual benefit to grow our collective businesses. We consider ourselves proactive and dynamic retailers particularly when it comes to marketing. We like to be very connected to your promotional programs and work with you to maximise these opportunities and your investment, to grow our mutual business,” the email said.

“For now, we wanted to keep you in the loop during these crazy times when travel is banned, let’s face it we are a long way away over here… We are elated to be working with you and to grow our partnership.”

The team said Hart & Co may have a new look and name, but the principles remain the same: a strong and loyal following, strong and loyal business partners, and strong and loyal staff.

“Hart & Co promises to deliver a truly unique customer experience with a focus to educate, inspire and demonstrate. It will attract the best and most knowledgeable sales professionals, adapt a high-level integrated marketing strategy across traditional and digital media, with a dynamic event program encompassing designers, architects, builders, and consumers with regular in-store events.”

Teaser TVCs aired earlier this month to announce the new Hart & Co concept with additional sneak preview advertising commencing this Sunday 27 September.