By James Wells

SYDNEY: Strathfield Group announced this afternoon it has acquired 11 C2one stores from the Optus-owned subsidiary, C2one Communications.

According to a statement issued to the Australian Stock Exchange by chief executive officer, Gerard Frack, the stores are located mainly in premium shopping centres around Australia including the latest Westfield Shopping Centre at Bondi Junction.

Frack said this acquisition is in line with the company’s strategy of rolling out new Strathfield Connect stores in ‘A-grade centres’, and will increase the number of stores from 12 stores to 23 stores overnight.

Strathfield Group product manager – mobile, Jack Shamoon, said that the retailer is very excited about this acquisition, as the locations are of high interest and acquiring a competitors store makes better commercial sense than opening up in competition to them.

“The mobile phone business is a critical part of Strathfield’s growth and long term strategy in the market and we are confident of achieving great results here,” Shamoon said.

At the end of March, Strathfield announced it will franchise up to 62 of its 87 retail stores in a move the retailer hopes will produce between $10 million to $17 million in upfront fees and an annual profit of more than $10 million when fully operational.

Store values range from $95,000 to $670,000 depending on size and location. Strathfield Group will retain and build up 25 new and underperforming stores of its own.

Frack has blamed Strathfield’s management structure on the company’s $11 million loss last financial year, and claimed the stores will be profitable under the new model.

“Strathfield previously had an exorbitant management structure at head office which contributed to the annual loss,” Frack said in March.

“At store level most of the stores that are on offer produce good net profit before head office charges.”