digiDirect has re-opened its flagship Elizabeth Street store with a ground-up renovation, including a new store front and completely new fit-out, incorporating new product categories such as mobiles and computers.
This follows a re-fit of its Bondi store and refit and expansion of the Brisbane store. The Elizabeth Street store was closed for almost three months, with a pop-up store five doors down filling the breach in the meantime.
Expanding the range was challenging in Elizabeth Street, with just 70 square metres of retailing space to work with, and was achieved via reducing the number of photo kiosks, and ‘better merchandising and use of space,’ explained digiDirects’ divisional manager, Paul Clayton.
The expanded product range has been part of digiDirect’s online offering for nine months. ‘Sales have exceeded expectations and have provided us with credibility in our new partnerships with these suppliers,’ said Paul Clayton. Recently digiDirect also became an Apple reseller, which has also broadened its online appeal with consumers.
While Covid has not been kind to retailing in general, it has actually been a boon for the photographic chain’s move into new consumer IT categories. As more people had to work from home they had to fit out the home office with computers, webcams, speakers, keyboards, mics, storage devices, printers, etc.
Paul said that the Elizabeth Street precinct still warrants its ‘Blood Alley’ nickname, even with the closure of the iconic Michaels Cameras a couple of doors up the road. Although there is one less competitor, those remaining are (currently at least) competing for fewer customers due to reduced pedestrian traffic.
‘We have Ted’s and the main JB Hi-Fi store located within 80 metres of our front door. Our store continues to perform well even though the CBD still has not returned to the pedestrian traffic number pre-Covid.’ he said.
Product supply is still tight post-Covid, depending on the supplier and the particular product. Paul said that most good retailers are on allocation, rather than having all orders being fulfilled completely.
Next cab off the expansionary rank is a new business, digiSeconds. The digiSeconds website has only just gone live and is described as ‘still a work in progress’. It will sell refurbished/open box/display and second hand equipment.
The developments don’t stop there, however: A seventh digiDirect outlet is scheduled to open on July 1. Watch this space, as they say…