Ironically one of the first people through the door was JB Hi Fi CEO Richard Murray who was taking a sneak peek at what is arch rival is doing.
Dick Smith marketing director Neil Merola said that planning for the new store which is the first of 100 planned by Christmas started six weeks ago.
The first Connected Home store has been configured inside the Dick Smith George Street store, it’s designed to appeal to females shopping for appliances.
“While the Dick Smith stores primarily appeal to men, we are working on the Connected Home stores being a destination for females” said Merola.
According to Dick Smith CEO Nick Aboud who was present at the opening the experience that he and Merola gained working at Myer where the audience was primarily female is “coming in handy” as they plan out the new stores.
According to Merola the group has not lost consumer electronics floor space by introducing the new appliance and connected home range which includes brands such as Dyson, Nespresso, Braun Philips as well as Panasonic, Breville and Delonghi.
“What we have been able to do is compact the consumer electronics products into new in-store displays without losing any in-store merchandising effect”.
The Company who is currently lifting their private label products from 13.2% of total store sales to 15% of total sales has even created a female house brand called Move.
“What you will see is over at one end of the store is the same product branded Dick Smith while at the other end of the store we have the same product in new packaging branded Move, the designed has been created to appeal to females” said Merola.
Ironically light on in the store is an extensive range of Connected Home products, the most dominant brands were Swann with their new Swann One home automation and security gear and Belkin with their expanded WeMo automation range.
Last year Dick Smith doubled its online performance last year, with 8 per cent of the electronics retailer’s sales coming from digital customers.
According to Merola the Company is set to expand the range of appliance product s they have online with some house brand appliance products set to tested online prior to being rolled out in their new store network.
The George Street store is 100 square metres with the next store in Penrith set to be 150 square metres.
The entrance to the new store is still dominated by two big store within a store displays by Apple and Samsung however Merola said that they are currently negotiating to have a major appliance brand to also operate a major brand presence at the entrance to the store.
According to Nick Aboud the appliance market is worth $1.7 Billion and that Dick Smith are confident that they can quickly capture 10% of this market.
Aboud said that the new Connected Home stores were set to take up 10-15% of floor space inside a Dick Smith store replacing under-performing Dick Smith categories and brands.
“When we took over the Dick Smith stores two years ago everything was sold at a price point there was a lot of house brands, what we have done is make Dick Smith a house of brands and we now give people the choice of a branded product as well as a house branded product”.
Aboud said that the Company which floated on the stock market in 2013, had recorded standout sales spanning entertainment and computers, while becoming a market leader in wearable fitness products like Fitbit and Garmin.
Dick Smith says it grew its share of the fitness market by 1 per cent last year, and is looking forward to more growth as new products are released.
The company’s private label products also sold well, accounting for over 12.5 per cent of total sales, with plans afoot to increase its private label range by 40 per cent.
Dick Smith opened 25 new stores last year, bringing it to a total of 393 across Australia and New Zealand, including four duty free stores at Sydney International Airport.