EXCLUSIVE: Former Dick Smith Boss Now Running Kids Retail Group
Nick Aboud the former CEO of the failed Dick Smith retailer has gone from big boy’s toys to kids toys, taking on the role as CEO of Kidstuff a retail group who are currently expanding their physical store and online operations in Australia.
During an exclusive interview with ChannelNews Aboud who spoke for the first time after exiting consumer electronics retailer Dick Smith said that he sees a “big future” in his new role. He did not talk about the collapse of his previous employer who was declared insolvent leaving shortfall to creditors of more than $260 million and overall debts of over $500M.
The Company he is now heading sells unique and prestigious toy brands from around the world, “the biggest and best range of educational toys, as well as a range of eclectic gifts and novelties” they claim in their marketing material.
Aboud a former General Manager ay Myer when the Company was actually growing and making money, believes that he can expand Kidstuff moving into new categories while appealing to both grandparents and parents.
He said that the collapse of the Toy’s R US retail chain would benefit Kidstuff who have an extensive range of educational products.
He also said that he was looking to take a larger share of the “kids party market”.
The target audience for the retailer is toddlers and kids aged between 0 and 11.
“I am really enjoying what I am doing. We have some great opportunities ahead of us and we believe we can grow Kidstuff. We have stores in Mosman in NSW and Brighton in Victoria and we are in an excellent position to grow share in the premium end of the kid’s market”.
He admits that the demise of Toy’s Are Us which was placed into administration had created “growth opportunities” for Kidstuff.
The toy retailer claims that they sell toys that” inspire individuality and reward curiosity”.
The Company was originally established in 1969 in Paddington, Sydney
This original store has flourished with stores located at more than fifty locations around Australia today.
The Company believes that the unlock key to growth is “Outstanding” customer service, strong community connections, and their unique “heritage flavour” that has made Kidstuff a one-stop-shop location for parents and grandparents.
Tipped as a potential CEO of Myer Aboud got into trouble when he initially quit Myer to team up with Anchorage Capital who in 2012 acquired the Dick Smith stores from Woolworths for $115 million, $20 million of which was paid upfront.
In November Aboud became CEO of Dick Smith what followed was an atte4mpt to rapidly expand the consumer electronics retailer.
One year later Anchorage Capital floats Dick Smith on the Australian Securities Exchange with a reported market capitalisation of $520 million.
In 2015 problems started to unfold at the CE retailer Aboud was forced to write down 20% or $60 million of inventories.
On January 4, 2016 after a “shocking” Christmas New Year trading period Dick Smith collapses into voluntary administration, with receivers appointed on the same day
On January 11, 2016 Nick Abboud stood down as chief executive.
12 months ago, the Supreme Court of NSW granted legal firm Bannister Law leave to file a class action against Dick Smith and its directors.
Bannister Law principal Charles Bannister said at the time that the ruling was a win for shareholders who lost a lot of money when the company collapsed in January 2016.
“Thousands of shareholders have lost tens of millions because, we allege, DSHE contravened provisions of the Corporations Act, including by engaging in misleading or deceptive conduct on various occasions throughout 2015,” he said in a statement issued to ChannelNews.
ChannelNews understands that Aboud and other directors are covered by Directors insurance in the event of a Company collapsing or when legal action is taken.