Thursday, 25 February 2016 15:53

Dick Smith stores to close with big job losses in Australia, NZ Featured


The demise of the Dick Smith group of electronic stores is now complete, with receivers to close all stores throughout Australia and New Zealand, with close  to 3,000 staff to lose their jobs.

The stores were placed in receivership in January and today the receivers, Ferrier Hodgson, said they had failed to find suitable buyers for the business.

The closure of 301 stores in Australia and 62 in New Zealand, after a period of sustained losses, means around 2,460 staff in Australia and 430 in New Zealand will lose their jobs.

The receivers say, that all Australian employee entitlements will rank as priority unsecured claims ahead of the secured creditors and are “expected to be paid in full”.

And, entitlements of New Zealand employees who are made redundant are preferential claims ranking ahead of the secured creditors, and are also expected to be paid in full up to a maximum  statutory limit of NZ$22,160.

The receivers announced on Thursday they had received a number of expressions of interest from prospective buyers but none were deemed acceptable.

All the stores are expected to close within the next 8 weeks.

In a statement to the Australian Securities Exchange, Ferrier Hodgson said the decision to close the business was a disappointing outcome.

"While we received a significant number of expressions of interest from local and overseas parties, unfortunately the sale process has not resulted in any acceptable offers for the group as a whole or for Australia or New Zealand as standalone businesses," receiver James Stewart said. "The offers were either significantly below liquidation values or highly conditional or both."

One supplier left without mass-market retail outlets in Australia is OPPO Australia that had an exclusive retail distribution with Dick Smith since July of 2015 where 397 Dick Smith retail stores including 28 Powered by Dick Smith zones in David Jones sold its products. It also partnered with telco Optus for handsets on plans and recently with TeleChoice and MobileCiti.

Michael Tran marketing director of OPPO Mobile Australia said “We’re obviously disappointed by the news that Dick Smith will be closing and in particular what this means for its staff. OPPO has enjoyed tremendous growth in Australia with demand for our products higher than ever. With an exciting pipeline of devices and innovative new technology being introduced we expect that demand to continue.  Like any ambitious brand we are constantly looking at new and different channels to reach our customers and expect to announce additional partnerships in the very near future.”

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham - retired in 2020. He is a veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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