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Mar 19, 2009


I am an habitual shopper of consumer electronics stores, one of the few retail domains which is male-friendly.  The Dick Smith electronics chain has always been on my repertoire list, but most of the smaller stores have tended to disappoint in terms of range, presentation and service,  and I have generally preferred the larger format Powerhouse stores.  In fact, the Broadway store featured in this mini-review looked more like a toy-store at Christmas, and a badly run one at that.

The new image campaign, including TV ads, has simplified the brand hierarchy - Powerhouse is gone, and the brand has returned to its heritage as Dick Smith - a place for 'tech experts'.  

As mentioned in a previous post - see below - the use of black in the logo is spot-on - male and 'techy', rather than the very corporate blue for Powerhouse, and straightforward and simple, rather than the use of many visual elements in the old logo. In the smaller stores, the yellow tended to dominate and distracted from the black.  Black is a difficult colour to use in a balanced manner outside a fashion environment, so the treatment for the re-launch was very interesting.

The video clip below shows that an excellent balance has been achieved in the new-look store in Broadway.  The clutter of the previous store has gone, and it looks like the range has been simplified and been presented with clear planogram-driven merchandising disciplines.

The layout is simple and easy to follow, despite the tight space in the (expensive rental mall) store.  The service area is well lit and easy to navigate, and the small items prone to stock loss are close by for easy observation.  

I liked the use of yellow accents with the web-site url on the black 'dump bins' - great reinforcement with a dash of colour. While some parts of the store are still a little dowdy - some product simply does not lend itself to display on grey/charcoal fixtures - the overall impact is positive, and a huge improvement.

It could just have been 'opening week syndrome' but staff were helpful and friendly too. Worth a visit.

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