Supermarkets and Retail

Continues from the old forum

Dick Smith has been placed into administration -

With receivers in place anyone with a gift certificate or who paid a deposit is going to miss out.

Shame there’d be pretty much nothing worth buying if they went down the closing down sale path.

Costco’s next three stores will be in Marsden Park NSW, Epping VIC and Brisbane.

I live minutes away from the Epping site, so I’m looking forward to that.

Wonder if Dick Smith will sell his other interests to “do the right thing” by Aussies and refund deposits and honour gift certificates. Surely a man known for his honesty and credibility wouldn’t let people miss out like that.

What does this have to do with Dick? Dick Smith, the person, has had nothing to do with these stores since he sold the business to Woolworths 30 years ago.

Used to really love the store back when they sold electronic components, before Woolies turned it into a full consumer electronics business. The electronics projects I used to spend hours on as a kid probably don’t have a place in today’s world.

I thought he still owned the stores. I’m surprised if he sold them to Woolies that he didn’t insist on a name change. He developed Ozemite (or whatever it’s called) because the original had changed ownership and people didn’t know it wasn’t Australian owned. To have Dick Smith stores not owned by Dick Smith is kind of the same, misleading. Now that the business is in trouble people (like me obviously) who don’t realize he no longer owns it, will think he does.

The difference with Vegemite being that while it was foreign owned, Woolies and Anchorage are both Australian.

The Dick Smith saga will probably make investors wary of buying shares in any future private equity firm float.

The private equity firm pays $20m to Woolworths as an initial payment for DSE (total purchase price payments and costs eventually amount to $115m).
The new owners then instigate massive write-downs of the value of stock and assets.
When those items of stock are sold subsequent to the write-down a high profit margin is shown against the written down value, giving an outward perception of profitability. When stock is sold the cash generated is stripped out to pay for the purchase price and stock is not replaced to the required levels.
Written down assets means lower depreciation charge, again increasing reported “profitability”.
The company now “appears” to be profitable, so it is floated on the stock-market at a capitalised value of around $520m.
Post-float, DSE is bare bones needs to build up its stock levels again and expand and survive - the new stock is full-valued stock and brings the company back to realistic profit margins - the stock build up requires massive debt which eventually brings the company to its knees.

Dick Smith sold it to Woolies in 1982 for $25mil…

I can see masters heading in the same direction. Just unsure if people will jump if private equity were to float masters after a 12mth period…once bitten twice shy

Masters or Big W. Both are at risk of being let go by Woolies, it just depends how much further down the rabbit hole woolies wants to get with Masters…

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Woolies bought the Dick Smith brand as well as the stores and the rest of the company. A well-regarded brand makes a massive difference to a business, so Woolies would have been crazy to rename it, and being a business man Dick Smith would have understood that and not had a problem with it.

You would think the supposedly smart analysts whose job it is to evaluate floats would have seen through all the manipulation of the private equity owners to bump up its value and recommended keeping clear of it. I remember articles a couple of years ago saying what a fantastic job the new owners had done turning it around and how embarrassing it was for Woolies to have sold it to them for a song. Well, it seems that everyone was hoodwinked.

The Australian operations of Laura Ashley has gone into voluntary administration as well.

All these businesses sound like people. Ironic?

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[quote=“Squee, post:13, topic:167”]
Masters or Big W. Both are at risk of being let go by Woolies
[/quote]Just shows how dominant Coles is at the moment. Target and Bunnings are absolutely smashing them.

And a lot of Woolies’ woes are self-inflicted. They poured so much money into Masters but a lot of their stores are mired by questionable store placement and poor branding.

I think with Masters they made a serious error in judgement about just how willing Wesfarmers would be to crush them, given the opportunity. One only needs to see how a Bunnings has literally opened up next to at least half of Master’s locations.

With Big W… arrogance/complacency, not expecting Wesfarmers to be able to turn around K-Mart so fast and move onto transforming Target in much the same way. Big W stores, even new ones look dingy and dated compared to new Kmart or Target locations.

Not surprised seeing Dick Smith go into administration. Years ago you could find the bits and pieces you needed to fix your gadgets up. Now…a very poor man’s JB. I had to get a phone outlet plug so I could get online - couldn’t get it at Dick’s! Ended up getting it at Bunnings. I’ve gotta say, I prefer going to Coles and Kmart than Woolies and Big W - they’ve done a lot in recent years to warrant my return business. Back home, Coles was THE place to go. Although, they’re not a patch on Aldi. :wink:

Also, since I’ve moved to Sydney, I’m in 5-10 minutes drive of Costco and 20 min drive of Ikea Tempe. I love Ikea. Even though I manged to get myself lost the 1st time I went there. Today I found what I needed - got me a $20 TV stand, $8 side table, and two decent bookshelves which I’m yet to put up. Plus a cordless drill and home repair kit at cracking prices.

I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve walked into Dick Smith and walked out empty handed, and K-mart/Big-W ended up having the thing I was looking for, despite them cutting down their electrical/tech ranges.

Any new buyer would need to actually figure out a market niche that isn’t trying to compete head on with larger format stores.

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