By Wares January 26, 2017 Industry news

Smiths City's Half Year report for the six months to end October 2016 released today shows top line and inventory gains, signals store changes and plans to make more of its customer data.

Starting with the Half Year Report's financials, revenues to 31 October 2016 were $113.9 million +7.2% on last year, with same store sales +7.7%.

Another plus was that inventory levels were reduced by 20%.

However profit was also down, at $1.37 million from $2.55 million last year.

Looking further out, Furniture City's purpose-built modern Auckland warehousing facility in Manukau will be "repurposed" in 2017 to service the broader store network around the North Island.

Also coming up is a previously signalled new look for Smiths City stores.

Says CEO Roy Campbell in the report: "While we still have internal efficiencies to implement that will result in further savings to the Group via continuous improvement to our buying, marketing, logistics and systems platforms, our biggest opportunity is in the reset of how we present our offering to the consumer.

"Delivering an improved in-store experience will then ensure alignment of our marketing, operational and virtual activities and present one cohesive view of Smiths City."

Hence Smiths City has engaged well-known and highly experienced retail design house Studio Gascoigne to redesign its stores' look and feel.

The new concept will be rolled out first in the new Hastings store due to open this February.

"Our new concept will clearly signal to the market and our customers the value and service they can expect from Smiths City and demonstrates our point of difference when compared to others," says Roy Campbell.

Other developmental plans include a new information platform to make the most of Smith City's customer engagement. A plan has been presented to the Board for implementation during 2017, with final completion due mid-2018.

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