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2000 sq-metre Dick Smith Electronics PowerHouse

Dick Smith Electronics is about to throw the switch on a new era of consumer electronics retailing in New Zealand.

The 2000 square-metre Dick Smith Electronics PowerHouse consumer electronics mega store will be officially opened in Manukau city this weekend by the acting mayor, Councillor Anne Candy.

The company's New Zealand general manager, Stu Meadows, says that it is a significant step for the company in New Zealand.

"The Dick Smith Electronics PowerHouse stores are quite different from our standard stores," he said.

"Traditionally, we have been about supplying technology and electronics equipment to trade and home users, but technology and home entertainment are rapidly converging and we've identified a real opportunity in the market to bring these products together under one roof."

Products include high-end entertainment equipment, including televisions, media centres, stereos, car audio systems and gaming; digital cameras and a printing service; computers and telephone technology; and small home appliances.

The concept has already proved popular in Australia, with 18 Dick Smith Electronics PowerHouse stores now operating.

Mr Meadows said that the New Zealand market was tested in Hamilton first.

"We opened in May 2004, but within a year it was obvious that we needed to nearly double the trading area, and we opened the expanded store in August last year. At the same time, we started looking for suitable sites in other areas," he said.

Manukau was chosen for the second store because it is the largest and fastest growing city in the country, and a suitable site with good parking was available close to the city centre. Other stores will follow.

Dick Smith Electronics has 52 company stores in New Zealand, and 13 authorised distributors.

About Dick Smith Electronics PowerHouse:

• Dick Smith Electronics PowerHouse mega-stores are about converging electronics and entertainment technology. They specialise in helping people to adapt and integrate latest technologies to improve their lives. • There are 18 PowerHouse stores operating in Australia.

• New Zealand's first Dick Smith Electronics PowerHouse opened in Hamilton in May 2004. In August 2005, the floor area of the Hamilton store was increased from 1200 square metres to 2000 square metres.

• The Manukau store is the second to open in New Zealand, with a floor area of 2000 square metres and a staff of 47. The store is at 5 Ronwood Ave, near the Manukau city centre.

• Products range from 50-inch televisions to small home appliances and everything in between.

• PowerHouse stores offer "total product solutions", from selling digital cameras to a digital photo printing service, from high-end entertainment systems and car audio systems to the movies and music to play on them.

• PowerHouse employs specialist staff to help customers choose and use the best technology for them, and the PowerHouse Power Squad will install and integrate all equipment.

• Customers are encouraged to try technology for themselves. Features of DSE PowerHouse stores include sound lounges, extensive gaming areas and the ability to test new technologies like Voip telephony.


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