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back to article Dick Smith faces tricky times

Australia's iconic high street gadget, TV and computer retailer Dick Smith faces an uncertain future, following the announcement that parent company Woolworths will be conducting strategic review of the underperforming electronics chain. Woolworths has already closed seven Dick Smith in the 2011 financial year. Analysts are …

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I guess being more expensive than Harvey Norman (for as much attention I pay to these two) is beginning to bite?

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Anonymous Coward

Dick Smith stopped being "iconic" when they were Borg'd by Tandy. That was about the time they stopped stocking quality soldering irons.

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FAIL

Borged by Tandy?

'twas the other way 'round.

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Anonymous Coward

Who borg'd who

I know on paper it twas DS borg'ing Tandy ... but the end result of the union was a shop that looked exactly like Tandy but with a DS sign out front.

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FAIL

Foolworths.

And they wonder why we are shopping elsewhere (Jaycar or Interwebs)? Maybe if they didn't gouge so much....

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Unhappy

T'would be a shame if they folded.

One of my favorite pastimes is popping into DS to taunt the assorted PFYs. Plus, they make me look like I know what I'm talking about...

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Unhappy

Hmmm.

While I have had some very good customer-service experiences at my local DSE in the past few years, they simply don't stock very much that interests me any more. My local store doesn't even have the trays of discrete components anymore - just expensive consumer-toys.

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Ditto in my location. They 'upgraded the customer experience' a couple of months ago and removed all the components etc. For what, more TVs and a Kindle display?

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Bronze badge

No wonder

1) overpriced

2) Moved from parts and gadgets to pre-assembled pieces which can be bought everywhere.

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Thumb Down

and also

3) Ditched the change of mind guarantee.

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Bronze badge

No loss. Ever since Dick got out they've just been another electrical goods retailer. One fewer isn't going to make any difference.

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Unhappy

DS taught me to solder stuff together

Their DIY electronics projects were popular when I were a lad.

In my case, none of them ever worked but they were well soldered.

Probably too well.

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There was a point to their existence. There may still be.

Yes Dick Smith are expensive, but before the general acceptance of extended trading hours they would be open for an hour or so longer than anyone else and if you needed an emergency part or bit they could be relied upon to have it at a hugely marked up price.

I remember watching a local store owner wanting a cable and going red in the face as he said he could sell the cable for a third of their asking price. The staff member said go right ahead then. The dude backed down as he needed it and had run out of stock.

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Not only that...

Shops are physically located at bad locations. Which was OK when they drew a dedicated customer base shopping for items they couldn't get elsewhere. But a retail failure for a shop selling cheap replacable commodity electronics.

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MJI
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Whoops

I was thinking it was the Sheep Pig author!

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Coffee/keyboard

DSE are just another Box flogger now

A great pity, DSE have closed one of the stores in Maribyrnong which had some parts, the staff said they would be moved to their other store in the Highpoint shopping centre; now that shop has been "remodelled" and the parts are all gone along with the kits and the tools.

With the rise of the Maker/Arduino culture, you would think that there would be an opportunity for the original Dick Smith to get back into that business.

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Wrong move

When Deborah Singh (Ceo) moved from parts retailer to what they are now they started digging their OWN grave, --SHE-- killed DS ... wrong move.

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FAIL

To be expected

They used to sell a great range of tools, components, cables, adapters, and the like, and they did a good job of it.

Now, they sell cheap and and crap, poor quality chinese knock off equipment, and the same generic junk that every other cheap and crap store does. They no longer do components or tooling, which is why Jaycar now does so well.

So where does that leave DSE? The store near me has more staff working at it than it does customers....any wonder why?

No great loss for DSE to close it's doors, it lost its relevancy years ago, and it hasn't been an icon of Australian retail for a decade now. I'm actually suprised it took this long for Woolworths to consider consolidating this into Big W.

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Bronze badge

Saw it coming...

I stopped even going into DSE when they ditched stocking the "E" part. I can look at cheap TVs and crap laptops at so many other places.

It only got worse when they started labelling themselves as "techsperts". The only thing they're expert at is flogging cheap rubbish to customers I then have to support - and it's really hard to tell people their shiny new Acer computer is a piece of crap.

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Unhappy

Even so...

Occasionally they'll haggle a good deal and I've bought a few things there - including my plasma which I Luuuuuuuuuuuuuv !

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Jaycar not...

Vouching for Jaycar when instead, it's going the exact same route as DS, isn't bright, considering Jaycar's owner has said he intends on selling more toy like crap and less hobby/enthusiast stuff.

DS problem was that Dick himself sold it to Woolworths. Then when, Woolworths owned Tandy aswell, you knew it was going to end badly.

All the internet seems to be doing to retailing is, taking out the niche products on shelves. I'd say that modern Australian retail is heading in the direction of selling to, the lowest common denominator.

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