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Rikkitic
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  #2084568 5-Sep-2018 21:32
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Smith's City may be going under, but they just opened a new store in Hastings, where they were not previously represented.

 

 





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
 


amiga500

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  #2084672 6-Sep-2018 07:40
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Who knows?  DSE Riccarton opened up a swanky Apple products section in that store just two or three months before going into receivership.  They erected big black screens and fitted out the new Apple section and it had me fooled. Strange things happen in retail!


 
 
 
 


maoriboy
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  #2084682 6-Sep-2018 07:52
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Talk of 100% has reminded me of something.. I was in my local 100% last year looking at fridges and happened to see a Sony MP3 player for sale for $199. Nothing unusual you might say until I realised it was the same model I purchased back in 2011/12. Looking closer they had many tech relics in that cabinet going for frankly silly prices. I was gobsmacked and slightly nostalgic all at once :-)






Dunnersfella
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  #2084750 6-Sep-2018 10:15
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Rikkitic:

 

Smith's City may be going under, but they just opened a new store in Hastings, where they were not previously represented.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yup - they've also opened a new-look Whangerei store, a Wairau Park and Mt Wellington store (both Auckland).

 

That's part of the issue, they used a lot of the proceeds from selling their Colombo Street site to fund this... but the new locations haven't worked as they thought they would. Fancy fitouts mean nothing if the stock / staff / marketing is incorrect.

 

It's interesting to see that they've finally started to engage on social media. Only 5 years behind the rest.


amiga500

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  #2085173 6-Sep-2018 18:51
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Dunnersfella:

 

Rikkitic:

 

Smith's City may be going under, but they just opened a new store in Hastings, where they were not previously represented.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yup - they've also opened a new-look Whangerei store, a Wairau Park and Mt Wellington store (both Auckland).

 

That's part of the issue, they used a lot of the proceeds from selling their Colombo Street site to fund this... but the new locations haven't worked as they thought they would. Fancy fitouts mean nothing if the stock / staff / marketing is incorrect.

 

It's interesting to see that they've finally started to engage on social media. Only 5 years behind the rest.

 

 

I hope they are not trying to use Instagram. Most of their remaining clients will be using Windows 7 & Internet Explorer & will be wondering why instagram does not work very well on their desktop PCs.


quickymart
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  #2086280 8-Sep-2018 22:23
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Complete tangent here but talking about now-defunct retailers - what happened to RTS Appliance Traders? What did they become?


LostBoyNZ
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  #2086372 9-Sep-2018 11:04
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amiga500:

 

Who knows?  DSE Riccarton opened up a swanky Apple products section in that store just two or three months before going into receivership.  They erected big black screens and fitted out the new Apple section and it had me fooled. Strange things happen in retail!

 

 

Absolutely, and we got in a whole range of home appliances (toasters, coffee machines, blenders, kettles etc) not long before the 'fire sale' around the last Christmas before the receivership.

 

That fire sale was insane, but just a total cash grab to keep things going for a few months longer. I went around the Christchurch stores and bought about $5,000 worth of things, and then sold them on TradeMe for about $10,000. Proof that they were just selling things at crazy prices. And the prices I sold them at on TradeMe, would be considered very good. The deals in the receivership were nothing compared to a couple of months earlier.


 
 
 
 


Dunnersfella
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  #2086416 9-Sep-2018 13:41
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I guess I should start staking out the local Smiths City for a bargain when they go under...


LostBoyNZ
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  #2086471 9-Sep-2018 15:20
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That might be a good way to get a bargain, but it was a special case with Dick Smith. Appointed receivership companies know how to get the most out of a closure, so they very slowly discount everything until it's all gone, starting with 10% off lower profit items, then 20% etc. Whereas we got pages of crazy discounts every few days to put out, like 50% off a lot of laptops and such. Some were very high spec, just 6 months old. Cameras too, off memory.

 

They announced a sudden stock write down of $60 million, and blamed having too much 'old' stock as weighing them down. They weren't paying the bills, and some companies were stopping selling to Dick Smith. That's why you wouldn't see new models of certain brand products in store, and more home brand stuff came in. Like massive pallets of Dick Smith AA batteries, and insanely priced RCA cables etc. It was a weird time to work there, for sure.

 

I remember seeing there's more down that hole too, like the owner of the plant who made the Dick Smith batteries was the CEO of Dick Smith's cousin. And he was ordering way more than we would sell in a very long time. I've still got boxes of the AA 40 Packs here I think.

 

To go back on topic, if Smiths City does go under, I firmly believe it will be for different reasons than Dick Smith. It was all down hill since Woolworths sold off Dick Smith and the investment group bought it, with some shady practices taking place.


amiga500

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  #2086473 9-Sep-2018 15:22
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LostBoyNZ:

 

amiga500:

 

Who knows?  DSE Riccarton opened up a swanky Apple products section in that store just two or three months before going into receivership.  They erected big black screens and fitted out the new Apple section and it had me fooled. Strange things happen in retail!

 

 

Absolutely, and we got in a whole range of home appliances (toasters, coffee machines, blenders, kettles etc) not long before the 'fire sale' around the last Christmas before the receivership.

 

That fire sale was insane, but just a total cash grab to keep things going for a few months longer. I went around the Christchurch stores and bought about $5,000 worth of things, and then sold them on TradeMe for about $10,000. Proof that they were just selling things at crazy prices. And the prices I sold them at on TradeMe, would be considered very good. The deals in the receivership were nothing compared to a couple of months earlier.

 

 

Good on you!  Probably what I should have been doing instead of wandering around the shop & taking note of how tatty it looked!


quickymart
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  #2086485 9-Sep-2018 15:56
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So, serious question. What could save Smiths City? What would do if you were appointed to turn it around?

Dunnersfella
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  #2086542 9-Sep-2018 17:56
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1: The way the sales team are paid is simply odd...

 

They don't get commission until they hit at least 70% of their target. This means they discount for the first chunk of a month in order to hit their 70% threshold... discounting sales people may seem good for you or me, but for profitability - it's a disaster!

 

2: Decide what they are!

 

Obviously being a department store that sells furniture, carpet, kayaks, bikes, TV's, stereos, computers, fishing rods etc isn't working.

 

If you can get a better range of kayaks or fishing rods elsewhere - then why go to Smith's City? For their knowledge? Nope - the people at Hunting and Fishing or dedicated fishing stores will smoke them.

 

Want to carpet your home, there's genuine carpet specialists out there...

 

Need a HiFi, try a specialist...

 

3: Marketing.

 

They entered the Auckland market and told everyone they'd arrived with TV ads / billboards etc... but they didn't tell people WHAT they were!

 

Who in Auckland cares that they have been big in the South Island?

 

Go to the Wairau Park Smiths City and play 'spot the customer'... fun game, you may even find one!

 

Go to the local JB's / Harvey's / Noel's / Freedom and you'll see loads of customers trailing around.

 

 

 

Did anyone see their TV ads for their 100 years in business? It has old people talking about growing up with Smiths City.

 

How on earth will that attract millenials / any new customers? They have a massive problem surrounding their customer base dying off / moving to retirement homes... so why keep targeting the oldies?

 

 

 

Plus they need to decide if they're cheap 'n cheerful, top end... or the 'middle ground' that gets eaten up by everyone else.

 

4: Who buys their products?

 

Their PC selection is face-palm inducing. Their audio department is a bunch of terrible soundbars and the odd pair of Wharfedale powered floor standers (seriously, who got conned there??)

 

Sack the buyers and poach some go-getters from the big players who actually know what sells around NZ.

 

5: Stop selling the cheap pine furniture - the competitors offer contemporary designs, then when they go out of fashion they clear them and buy into the latest trend. Smith's fills its floor with the same designs they've always had and then loads up on 'comfy but ugly' lounge suites that grandma's and grandad's already own.


surfisup1000
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  #2086556 9-Sep-2018 18:44
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Dunnersfella:

 

2: Decide what they are!

 

 

You mostly put it into a nutshell to me. But point 2 being the most important thing to address. 

 

Identity drives everything else. 


quickymart
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  #2086575 9-Sep-2018 20:13
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I remember Smiths City (in Greymouth, anyway) were huge in the 1990s and even into the 2000s as they were basically the only game in town - but they have more competition now in the form of Noel Leeming and even The Warehouse, to a degree. Yet Smiths City still seem to be doing/selling the same things they have been since the 1990s.


Technofreak
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  #2086630 9-Sep-2018 22:08
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Apparently the New Zealand DSE shops were doing OK. It was what happened on Oz and probably more importantly the equity buy out and what happened as a result of the buyout that caused the demise of DSE.




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