Geekzone: technology news, blogs, forums
Guest
Welcome Guest.
You haven't logged in yet. If you don't have an account you can register now.
Buying anything on Amazon? Please use the Geekzone Amazon aff link.


View this topic in a long page with up to 500 replies per page Create new topic
1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5
498 posts

Ultimate Geek
+1 received by user: 13

Trusted

  Reply # 667963 5-Aug-2012 21:14 Send private message

Bisr has it nailed, pretty much.

Part of the rebranding from 'Dick Smith Electronics' to 'Dick Smith' is to remove the focus from the electronics side of the business that likely wasn't serving as much of a moneymaker. Any stores that remain in the old 'Dick Smith Electronics' livery are probably slated for a format change in due course.

I would expect the move away from component-level electronics was driven by profitability; there's probably not a lot in it, relative to the cost of maintaining such a large catalogue of components that frequently sit on the shelves for years without being touched. Jaycar can do it more efficiently because there are less of them.

Of course, with DS having made the decision they did - to pull out of supporting the electronics hobbiest - they also lost the loyalty of their not insignificant number of regular customers who would frequently forage for the components they needed. I'm a ham radio operator and I can tell you that there's been plenty of negative comments made over the last several years - and indeed the moves in this direction started way back in the late 90s when DSE started 'quitting' in their Amateur Radio stock lines, in favour of more 'consumer' stuff (Scanners, Citizens Band, Marine). Even those are far less significant now than they were.

So make the most of any of your local DSEs that're still carrying the electronics stuff, because the clock is ticking. Unfortunately Dick Smith have lost a lot of following that they had by way of their reliability and accessibility - a strong network of branches and franchise distributors nationwide providing for consistent and reliable availability of those bits-and-pieces which meant that even the premium prices one paid were compensated for, at least in part.

Today Dick Smith is just one of the many consumer electronic stores; Noel Leeming, Harvey Norman and their ilk are in the same space, Dick Smith carry a 'different' variety of related stuffs and this still makes them somewhat useful, but I definately visit them much less.

Oh, and Woolworths have owned Dick Smith or at least the majority of it, for a rather long time. Years ago as a DSE employee I was gifted 75 shares in WOW (Woolworths Australia) as part of an employee scheme to celebrate Woolworths 75th birthday. I flicked my last holding of those shares off about a year ago to pay for some dentistry :/ But FWIW i'm glad I bailed when I did, because the company has no loyalty left on my part - and I enjoyed my time working for them (96-00).




2246 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 88

Subscriber

  Reply # 667968 5-Aug-2012 21:40 Send private message

Here's the thing...
Selling components and bits 'n bobs isn't particularly profitable.
Sure they have some MASSIVE markups in some areas, but it's all small stuff that appeals to a limited DIY market. Heck, the likes of Jaycar are up against on-line specialists, wholesalers and Trademe resellers... so it's not a particularly appetizing area to be playing in.
I'm sure Dick Smith's approach made sense at the time, the issue, it would appear, is their implementation of their plan.

375 posts

Ultimate Geek
+1 received by user: 4


  Reply # 667989 5-Aug-2012 22:04 Send private message

I don't hold a grudge against dickies for wanting to cut the stuff that sits for months at a time on the shelf and doesn't make much money. Obviously they wanted to shift away to more profit making items (tvs, laptops etc and their assorted accessories) and for that you can't blame them.
With the shift to online retailers most stores are hurting and will do so in the future, kudos to dse in attempting to make themselves profitable by cutting the lines that weren't working for them.
There's still jay car, but unfortunately we have to deal with the oddballs that tend to work in them (all the stores I've frequented have these in their employ).

160 posts

Master Geek
+1 received by user: 13


  Reply # 668025 5-Aug-2012 22:51 Send private message

as an oddball myself I enjoy the staff at jaycar :)

1208 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 193


  Reply # 668026 5-Aug-2012 22:51 Send private message

Elpie:
TheUngeek: Yeah Dick Smith have completly pulled out of what they started as. Now solely do consumer electronic goods


That started 3 years ago when the remaining share of Dick Smith was sold to majority shareholder Woolworths.


Clarification - I was mistaken. The rebranding and move to consumer electronics started 3 years ago. I thought that was when Woolworths got 100% ownership but was wrong with that - they have owned Dick Smith since 1982. 

713 posts

Ultimate Geek
+1 received by user: 95


  Reply # 668047 6-Aug-2012 01:53 Send private message

Sorry to say this but I'm not morning the gradual demise of Dick Smith as pretty much Elive, Ascent and a few other 'go to' online stores have pretty much replaced bricks and mortar shop - only reason these days to go to one is because I need something straight away but I tend to avoid such places like the plague.

I agree mattwnz regarding the pestering staff but what is even worse when you do want some help they're so clueless that one might as well have never asked for help in the first place. Some days I wonder whether they should just replace the store with a giant vending machine.




MacBook Pro 13.3" Mid-2012; iMac 3.4Ghz 27-inch (BTO) Late-2012; iPhone 6 128GB (Spark), Huawei HG659b (Spark)


498 posts

Ultimate Geek
+1 received by user: 13

Trusted

  Reply # 668091 6-Aug-2012 09:34 Send private message

kawaii: Sorry to say this but I'm not morning the gradual demise of Dick Smith as pretty much Elive, Ascent and a few other 'go to' online stores have pretty much replaced bricks and mortar shop - only reason these days to go to one is because I need something straight away but I tend to avoid such places like the plague.

I agree mattwnz regarding the pestering staff but what is even worse when you do want some help they're so clueless that one might as well have never asked for help in the first place. Some days I wonder whether they should just replace the store with a giant vending machine.


Their sales staff basic training includes acknowledging each customer within less than a minute of them entering the store. Salesperson 101.  I don't begrudge them from following their training, nor do I necessarily begrudge their training itself - many of their customers are at the less-geeky end of the spectrum and in theory even a basic sales guy's advice is going to be required.

Unfortunately your comment about cluelessness is more on the money - they frequently employ people with no natural talent for electronics and a moderately clooful customer will easily see through the crap.

Note though that there are some genuinely smart people working for them, and that the employee (and let's face it, they are SALESpeople) is doing what they're supposed to do.  A polite 'i'm just looking, thanks' lets them down gently.






160 posts

Master Geek
+1 received by user: 13


  Reply # 668155 6-Aug-2012 11:14 Send private message

kawaii: Sorry to say this but I'm not morning the gradual demise of Dick Smith as pretty much Elive, Ascent and a few other 'go to' online stores have pretty much replaced bricks and mortar shop - only reason these days to go to one is because I need something straight away but I tend to avoid such places like the plague.


This is exactly my feeling, and how I shop. I wonder if it is a male thing?

4805 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 128

Trusted

  Reply # 668161 6-Aug-2012 11:26 Send private message

Elpie: Palmerston North had one go last week,




I didn't realise the Plaza one had shut.  It's felt that way for quite a while now I guess though.

In Palmerston North, Jaycar is definitely the place to head for the sort of componentry that Dick Smith used to provide.

I agree about the sales training technique of greeting customers straight away.  It's funny as this is taught but it really doesn't work on a lot of people.  I want to browse often, not be ambushed.  Same approach, different result, sure doesn't work on me.  What it does do though is cut down on shop lifting/theft as it conveys that you have been seen and acknowledged.

1152 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 65


  Reply # 668175 6-Aug-2012 11:54 Send private message

It is actually sad. 

I think there is room for bricks and mortar electronic stores, but they have to differentiate themselves with staff that can actually help you ... and they don't.

There are plenty of bits of electronic kit that aren't professional level but aren't 'just plug it in and throw the switch' either. Personally, I'm currently looking for a hard drive which I can access wirelessly. I've been into several stores and asked 'So, can I use this to watch movies on my xbox?' I get a confused look followed by "Eh, I think so". Better to buy online and go looking for help if I need it here. Why bother employing staff who know exactly nothing? 

Yeah, I know this is Geekzone but not everybody can do it themselves. 

As far as DSE goes their problem is they are competing with Harvey and JB without the discounts JB has or the interest free terms Harvey have, gee wonder how long that is going to last? 




Didn't anybody tell you I was a hacker?

727 posts

Ultimate Geek
+1 received by user: 7


  Reply # 668230 6-Aug-2012 12:45 Send private message

Pretty much the last nail in the coffin for DSE as far as I am concerned was their curtailment of their long-standing 14-day no questions asked return policy. In this day and age when you simply can't trust the alleged specifications and real-world capabilities of may products, this was a very convenient safety net.

The contemporary alternative, making it clear what the intended purpose is at the time of purchase, and planning to rely on the CGA if it doesn't do the business usually results in something like: "No Sir, we can't guarantee it will work for that, but if you wish to try, go right ahead. Of course, if it doesn't, the item will not be returnable."

I'll still look at their prices if I'm in the market for something either relatively risk free or of negligible cost, and on occasion they get my business.



1408 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 335

Subscriber

  Reply # 668246 6-Aug-2012 13:05 Send private message

Jaxson:
Elpie: Palmerston North had one go last week,




I didn't realise the Plaza one had shut.  It's felt that way for quite a while now I guess though.



Hi, the one by the Plaza was the one I was referring to in my first post. I was parking near by to it on Sunday and I noticed it had shut down.

4805 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 128

Trusted

  Reply # 668258 6-Aug-2012 13:16 Send private message

DarthKermit:
Jaxson:
Elpie: Palmerston North had one go last week,




I didn't realise the Plaza one had shut.  It's felt that way for quite a while now I guess though.



Hi, the one by the Plaza was the one I was referring to in my first post. I was parking near by to it on Sunday and I noticed it had shut down.


Yeah Jaycar, if you haven't found it, is just across the road as such from there.  Corner opposite Count down end of Plaza carpark, opposite 'Fish Town' take aways.  Jaycar are the Dick Smith of 20 years ago...

727 posts

Ultimate Geek
+1 received by user: 7


  Reply # 668261 6-Aug-2012 13:20 Send private message

While we are all getting teary-eyed and soggy with nostalgia, anyone else remember Gilberts in Anzac Avenue in Auckland? Those were the days. Sigh.

160 posts

Master Geek
+1 received by user: 13


  Reply # 668289 6-Aug-2012 13:50 Send private message

crackrdbycracku: It is actually sad. 

I think there is room for bricks and mortar electronic stores, but they have to differentiate themselves with staff that can actually help you ... and they don't.

There are plenty of bits of electronic kit that aren't professional level but aren't 'just plug it in and throw the switch' either. Personally, I'm currently looking for a hard drive which I can access wirelessly. I've been into several stores and asked 'So, can I use this to watch movies on my xbox?' I get a confused look followed by "Eh, I think so". Better to buy online and go looking for help if I need it here. Why bother employing staff who know exactly nothing? 

Yeah, I know this is Geekzone but not everybody can do it themselves. 

As far as DSE goes their problem is they are competing with Harvey and JB without the discounts JB has or the interest free terms Harvey have, gee wonder how long that is going to last? 


More importantly, you thought asking someone at dick smith if you can use a hdd to watch movies in your xbox and that this is the same issue as accessing a drive wirelessly? Or that the questions even make sense by themselves? For a start a hard disk is just a disk, you can't access it at all unless it's connected to a device which can mount it and read from it. Accessing anything 'wirelessly' would mean that the disk would need to be mounted on a device which is connected to the network your xbox is currently already able to access. The reason I am taking this incredulous tone is that if you don't already know the ins and outs of making that work yourself and have to ask staff at a consumer electronics store then you are out of your depth. In my experience although a lot of technology is plug and play these days with networking you will always need the ability to troubleshoot yourself, or at the very least know where to go looking for information! You are right not everyone knows everything, I don't have an IT or compsci degree so for darn sure I don't, but at the very very least you need to think in terms of systems and integration, don't you?

I mean, I haven't even asked how you intend to play the 'movies' (which actually are video files of various codecs and containers) on your xbox - i.e. do you intend to use XBMC and install the necessary plugins etc for it (I am on PC so for example I know you need directshow and or ffmpeg for example, I presume the same sorts of requirements are true for the xbox version)? Because out of the box neither X360 or PS3 can play many types of video files, they are pretty terrible media players.

So I would suggest buying a WDTV box (I say this because they play everything except 3D BD iso's and the user interface on screen is the most pleasant) and plugging a portable hard disk (by this I mean a 2.5" or 3.5" HDD in an external enclosure, preferably 2.5" as it will be bus-powered and easier to move around) would be easier to use. On top of that whatever format the disk is in, as long as it works on Windows it will work in a media player. If you are a mac user make sure the drive stays formatted as FAT32 or if that's too hard buy a current-gen *vomit* AppleTV *puke*.

Using a media player with a portable disk that has files you want to watch/play/listen to is hands down far and away the easiest, most reliable, most straightforward way of watching video files on your tv. They literally 'just work'. They all support UPNP and SAMBA so later on if you want to integrate them into a network you can. But not with ease, because nothing involving networking happens 'with ease'.

This is the sort of response you were probably expecting from someone at the store. You must have been living in a hut and have not ventured into a point of sale for a VERY long time. Salespeople these days are just young idiots who just know how to charm/con ignorant plebs, not "experts" in any way shape or form. Conversely, most geeks are snarky, it comes with the territory, but we are also the kind of people who are willing to keep giving you help and more information as you need it. I do AV and network installations, and I have just clicked that you may have been doing some hidden trolling in your post and having a laugh at my response, but if you genuinely need info on playing back media files in a home environment PM me and I will happily dispense mucho advice and info for free. :)

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5
View this topic in a long page with up to 500 replies per page Create new topic




Twitter »
Follow us to receive Twitter updates when new discussions are posted in our forums:



Follow us to receive Twitter updates when news items and blogs are posted in our frontpage:



Follow us to receive Twitter updates when tech item prices are listed in our price comparison site:





Trending now »

Hot discussions in our forums right now:

My un-consented UFB install
Created by thurthur, last reply by mdooher on 28-Nov-2014 18:57 (79 replies)
Pages... 4 5 6


Gigatown winner town and plans
Created by freitasm, last reply by Demeter on 28-Nov-2014 08:59 (76 replies)
Pages... 4 5 6


Seen any good Black Friday / Cyber Monday deals?
Created by Jaxson, last reply by ckc on 28-Nov-2014 15:08 (24 replies)
Pages... 2


Gull Employment Dispute.
Created by networkn, last reply by richms on 28-Nov-2014 17:57 (153 replies)
Pages... 9 10 11


This is the end ...
Created by joker97, last reply by benokobi on 29-Nov-2014 00:31 (56 replies)
Pages... 2 3 4


Do Chorus Still Fit ADSL to Rural Cabinets?
Created by TLD, last reply by TLD on 28-Nov-2014 21:56 (17 replies)
Pages... 2


What the hell MyRepublic!?
Created by gished, last reply by pohutukawa on 28-Nov-2014 17:45 (16 replies)
Pages... 2


The Warehouse pulling R18 games and DVD's
Created by semigeek, last reply by Geektastic on 27-Nov-2014 18:32 (64 replies)
Pages... 3 4 5



Geekzone Live »

Try automatic live updates from Geekzone directly in your browser, without refreshing the page, with Geekzone Live now.

Are you subscribed to our RSS feed? You can download the latest headlines and summaries from our stories directly to your computer or smartphone by using a feed reader.

Alternatively, you can receive a daily email with Geekzone updates.