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quickymart
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  #2496433 2-Jun-2020 07:43
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https://www.nbr.co.nz/article/smiths-city-buys-furniture-city-585m-auckland-foothold-b-183697

 

...and to think they had the best of intentions too. How many shops did they actually have in Auckland in the end? 2? 3?


Rikkitic
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  #2581268 8-Oct-2020 12:12
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A couple years ago Smith’s City opened a big new store in Hastings. I never felt a need to look in but yesterday I had some time to kill and remembered I needed a flash drive so decided to see what it is like. 

 

Cavernous, filled with merchandise, empty of people was the answer. It really was empty. A huge, vast, retail space with a wall of TVs in the distance playing Shrek to an invisible audience. I had a hard time finding anyone, but eventually a salesperson appeared. As it happened, they had some Adata drives on sale that perfectly met my needs and I was glad to buy a couple. I was also glad to leave. There is something spooky about a place like that with everything going but no people, sort of like those end of the world zombie films where are all the shops are open but everyone is dead.

 

To be fair, this might not be entirely Smith City’s fault. It was also empty in the middle of town, and it is school holidays, and the weather has been brilliant, and although Hastings has been Covid-free for some time, it could still be having an effect on the retail sector. But Smith’s City was really, really empty, and I have to  wonder if that is the norm, and how long they can sustain it. I strongly suspect I may have been their only customer that day, and my $20 sure won’t pay for all the electricity those TVs were consuming.

 

 





I don't think there is ever a bad time to talk about how absurd war is, how old men make decisions and young people die. - George Clooney
 


 
 
 
 


msukiwi
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  #2581306 8-Oct-2020 13:12
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The Bush Inn Store in Christchurch - when it was there, was like that.

 

Salespeople hard to get the attention of.

 

Huge Store with only your fingers (Not all of them) needed to count the customers at best! 

 

Regularly I was the only customer in the Store!


DjShadow
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  #2581308 8-Oct-2020 13:16
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Smiths City have come back to Wellington by going into the old Briscoes store next to Pak n Save in Petone. Store I think would be about 2/3s the size of their old Lower Hutt store, other thing of note is the store is branded as "Smiths" which makes me wonder if the branding on all their other stores is about to be updated.


neb

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  #2581338 8-Oct-2020 14:19
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Rikkitic:

Cavernous, filled with merchandise, empty of people was the answer. It really was empty. A huge, vast, retail space with a wall of TVs in the distance playing Shrek to an invisible audience. I had a hard time finding anyone, but eventually a salesperson appeared. As it happened, they had some Adata drives on sale that perfectly met my needs and I was glad to buy a couple. I was also glad to leave. There is something spooky about a place like that with everything going but no people, sort of like those end of the world zombie films where are all the shops are open but everyone is dead.

 

 

Sounds like The Good Guys during their brief attempt over here, but they had about three staff to every customer. That was kind of weird too, when the staff vastly outnumber the customers you know they're not going to last long.

Hammerer
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  #2581416 8-Oct-2020 15:21
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Rikkitic:

 

A couple years ago Smith’s City opened a big new store in Hastings. I never felt a need to look in but yesterday I had some time to kill and remembered I needed a flash drive so decided to see what it is like. 

 

To be fair, this might not be entirely Smith City’s fault. It was also empty in the middle of town, and it is school holidays, and the weather has been brilliant, and although Hastings has been Covid-free for some time, it could still be having an effect on the retail sector. But Smith’s City was really, really empty, and I have to  wonder if that is the norm, and how long they can sustain it. I strongly suspect I may have been their only customer that day, and my $20 sure won’t pay for all the electricity those TVs were consuming.

 

 

There tends to be other important factors involved.

 

Tech stores are often located outside the major shopping zones which have high foot traffic and get a lot more browsers. The number of browsers isn't necessarily a good indicator of sales because many of these stores are destination shops where customers specifically go there to buy something, as you did. I will browse electronics stores, my wife will never.

 

In Lower Hutt, I regularly visit Smith City, Harvey Norman and Noel Leemings to find no other shoppers in the store. The primary reason is that those shops are not located in the main mall and get very little foot traffic - probably only a few percent of JB HiFi which is in the main mall.

 

Plus I'm usually visiting during the normal business day when there a lot less shoppers in such stores. I'd guess that was when you shopped. At such times I'm usually alone at the checkout. But late nights and weekends I almost always have someone ahead of me at the checkout which suggests that is where they do most of their business.

 

 

 

 


Stu1
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  #2581419 8-Oct-2020 15:24
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DjShadow:

Smiths City have come back to Wellington by going into the old Briscoes store next to Pak n Save in Petone. Store I think would be about 2/3s the size of their old Lower Hutt store, other thing of note is the store is branded as "Smiths" which makes me wonder if the branding on all their other stores is about to be updated.



Had a look in the weekend, busy but not much furniture stock and limited range

 
 
 
 


KiwiSurfer
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  #2581462 8-Oct-2020 15:25
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Interestingly, I always seem to be among a good number of other customers (or, perhaps, browsers) in shops such as PB Tech, Noel Leemings, JB Hifi. Particularly during sales! Manukau stores though so I guess having a large local population helps.


xpd

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  #2581463 8-Oct-2020 15:28
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I remember Smiths City in Mangere Town Centre, next to Farmers. I use to go in there to play with the Commodore 64's they had on display :D 

 

Then when I got bored, I'd go watch TV or play on the Amstrads at Farmers.........  got away with that because my mother worked there and the staff let me do what I wanted ;) That was decades ago now.....

 

 

 

 





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quickymart
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  #2581466 8-Oct-2020 15:42
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Conversely, I believe Smiths City do very well indeed in the South Island - but I think Christchurch is their home base.


Dunnersfella
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  #2581479 8-Oct-2020 15:56
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I have been into the Hastings store numerous times... I don't remember seeing more than 1 or 2 people in there.

 

People simply don't know the brand outside of the South Island and Wellington.

 

Their fitout certainly gives it a big, empty 'feel'.

 

I remember the Bush Inn store when I lived in Chch, it had a walkway that I thought resembled a race track. Basically, you walk around it in a loop without stopping, then straight out the door!

 

 

 

Smith's makes sense branding-wise... but the extra $'s involved to re-brand the company could be simply flushed down the toilet without customers in-store!


GregV
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  #2581548 8-Oct-2020 18:13
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Rotorua Smiths City has recently halved in size, with a big wall going up in the middle of their formerly-large store.


dafman
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  #2581549 8-Oct-2020 18:22
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They had a mega store at Kapiti which is now empty and closed. We bought quite a bit from them as their pricing was very sharp last few years, obviously too sharp.

cshwone
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  #2581555 8-Oct-2020 18:44
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They're just about to open a new store in Masterton in the old Stationary Warehouse which consolidated into the Red Shed

antonknee
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  #2581594 8-Oct-2020 21:03
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GregV:

Rotorua Smiths City has recently halved in size, with a big wall going up in the middle of their formerly-large store.



Off topic but do you know what’s going in the other half by any chance? That was a massive store - ex Mitre 10 and if memory serves they expanded the square footage when they took it over from M10 too.




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