Dick Smith Receiver Sale Described As One Big “Con”.
The Dick Smith receivers, Ferrier Hodgson are believed to be under investigation by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) over their so called ‘Receivers Sale’.
According to sources complaints have been lodged with the ACCC concerning the discounts being offered.
An Investigation by ChannelNews and SmartHouse reveals that several branded goods such as LG and Samsung TV’s are significantly more expensive at Dick Smith stores than at Harvey Norman, JB Hi Fi or Bing Lee stores.
A Samsung 60″ TV model number UA60J6200 is being marked up at Dick Smith stores in Chadstone, Victoria at $1,819.
The same TV is selling for $134 cheaper at Harvey Norman. To further seduce consumers into buying this model the Dick Smith receivers are offering ‘Receiver Sale’ saving of $230.
Harvey Norman is not offering any sale discounts.
An LG 60″ Smart TV 60LF6300 is ranged in the Dick Smith receiver sale at $1,899, the same TV is being sold for $1,679 a saving of $220.
Ironically Dick Smith claims that consumers are saving $600 by buying this TV from their stores.
In both the PC wearable and accessories categories goods are more expensive at Dick Smith stores than at other consumer electronics stores.
A sales assistant at one major Victorian store said. “Consumers are coming into the store believing that there are bargains because we have been placed under administration, when they check on their smartphones, what price the same goods are selling for in other stores they leave. There really is no sale, it’s all one big con”.
A Chadstone staff member said “Things were cheaper when Dick Smith was running the stores. As soon as the receivers moved in we were told to jack up prices. I suppose the banks want to get their money as quick as they can. It’s not looking good”.
Earlier this week Ferrier Hodgson moved to close 27 Dick Smith concessions stores at David Jones stores throughout Australia.
At one concession store in Victoria a Manager said “Dick Smith at David Jones has never worked. In some cases, prices were higher in a concession store than at a regular Dick Smith stores. Woolworths was going to dump Dick Smith anyway prior to the Company being placed into administration.
The Electronics Powered by Dick Smith outlets within David Jones employ two full-time employees, 78 part-time workers, and 101 casual staffers.
In other moves Ferrier Hodgson has moved to advertising the Dick Smith stores in Asia.
Back in November when we identified that Dick Smith stores were struggling a potential buyer from Hong Kong approached ChannelNews to obtain information about the stores.
They said at the time that doubted that there was any “value” left in Dick Smith stores.
According to sources still working at the mass retailer all of the management associated with Nick Aboud have “gone”.
“The receivers have already drawn up a plan to mass close stores, during the past weeks they have bought operational costs under control” they said.
Ferrier Hodgson retail partner James Stewart “We don’t want to leave any stone unturned,” said Ferrier Hodgson retail partner James Stewart, who took control of Dick Smith’s 393 stores at the behest of lenders on January 5 after the company appointed McGrathNicol administrators.
“Most of the world’s consumer electronics retailers are supplied through Asian markets. We want to make sure we give everyone an opportunity,” Mr Stewart said.
Ferrier Hodgson claim that they have has received at last 50 expressions of interest for Dick Smith’s assets but according to sources, most were organisations who took copies of the offer document which contained historical sales data, store locations a detailed 70-page information memorandum to selected parties.
The deadline for non-binding expressions of interest closing today Wednesday 27th of January.
The receivers claim that they have already commenced discussions with a core group of serious buyers and will draw up a formal short list after the offer deadline closes this week.
Mr Stewart told Fairfax Media that he welcomed the decision by the administrator, McGrathNicol, to seek to postpone the second meeting of Dick Smith’s creditors until August, saying it would give the receivers more time to complete asset sales and liaise with landlords.