Australia's JB Hi-Fi to open new concept store

Growing retailer trials brand merchandising format
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Australia's largest home entertainment retail chain JB Hi-Fi is set to open a new concept store to test a new merchandising format.

The new 1600 square meter store in Sydney's Westfield city shopping center will focus on computers, TVs and cameras organised by brand rather than category and will not carry software such as DVDs and games.

The retailer's distinctive yellow and black branding with loud red discount store-styled price tags can be seen in over 140 stores throughout Australia. 

Despite the 'HI-Fi' name, the firm has aggressively moved into computers, televisions and games in recent years, experiencing a strong eight per cent growth over the previous half year results to AU$1.68 billion in revenue. 

JB has previously experimented with themed stores, the firm's flagship stores in Melbourne are located closed by though one carries a range of home Hi-Fi and cinema equipment and software while the other is fronted by laptops and games.

The Australian reported that the concept store is thought to have been inspired by Japan's Yodobashi and will feature branded sections from firms such as Apple, Sony and HP.

Despite increased competition from Australia's burgeoning online retailers, the firm has further plans to expand to as many as 210 retail stores while also offering an online shopping portal of its own. 

18 new JB Hi-Fi stores are set to open across Australia and New Zealand over the next year however the concept store is thought to remain a specialist option. 

"[The concept store] will give us a chance to test what really works. But it's one we don't see a big opportunity to roll out into too many locations," JB Hi-Fi boss Terry Smart told the Australian.

Late last month JB Hi-Fi announced the intention to buy back up to 10 per cent of the firm's shares, equating to approximately $170 million.

Image: Creative Commons licence, maebmij (Flikr)

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