Christchurch-based & NZX-listed furniture & appliance retailer Smiths City Group Ltd opened its first 2 stores in Auckland yesterday, in former Furniture City outlets at Mt Wellington & Wairau Park.
The group has 33 other stores, plus 3 clearance outlets. It had already established itself in the lower North Island and had 4 stores in the Bay of Plenty before acquiring the Furniture City outlets in Auckland and another in Whangarei.
Chief executive Roy Campbell said the Whangarei store, which opened in September, was already trading 17% ahead of a year ago, when it was part of Furniture City.
Mr Campbell said Smiths City was rolling out its ‘live better’ livery, developed in response to changes in the retail market including online shopping: “The rise of online shopping has resulted in much greater price transparency & significantly intensified competition.
Traditional ‘bricks-&-mortar’ retailers must not only embrace the online channel, but also make the most of the instore experience, which cannot be matched by online-only competitors.
“In our core categories of furniture & appliances, the instore experience is more important than ever. Customers in these core categories want to touch & feel products before they buy. They want to sit on the sofa, test the comfort of a bed and see whether their chosen fridge has all the storage compartments they need.
“Good service, no-fuss delivery and the confidence that customers can talk to someone ‘just down the road’ are qualities that are highly valued by Kiwis. Combined with Smiths City’s point-of-sale finance offer, they will beat a good deal from an online-only retailer, hands down. We are excited by the opportunities in Auckland.”
Link: Smiths City
Attribution: Company release.