Author Topic: Woolworths To Sell Australian Kit Maker Dick Smith  (Read 9397 times)

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Offline SgtRock

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Woolworths To Sell Australian Kit Maker Dick Smith
« on: February 01, 2012, 03:59:01 am »
Greetings EEVBees:

--Woolworths  is divesting itself of Dick Smith. See below link.

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/01/31/dick_smith_cut_by_woolies/

"Business is never so healthy as when, like a chicken, it must do a certain amount of scratching around for what it gets."
Henry Ford 1863 - 1947

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Clear Ether
 

Offline PeterG

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Re: Woolworths To Sell Australian Kit Maker Dick Smith
« Reply #1 on: February 01, 2012, 04:11:41 am »
Dick Smith stopped being a store for electronic component supplier long ago. now days they are only interested in selling TVs and home theater stuff mostly.

JayCar filled the gap when Dick Smith started to wind down there electronics division.

Regards
Testing one two three...
 

Offline slateraptor

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Re: Woolworths To Sell Australian Kit Maker Dick Smith
« Reply #2 on: February 01, 2012, 04:28:12 am »
Quote
Woolworths cuts off Dick

:o

I swear...only the Brits can get away with dropping words like dick and fag so nonchalantly.
 

Offline Mint.

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Re: Woolworths To Sell Australian Kit Maker Dick Smith
« Reply #3 on: February 01, 2012, 04:36:42 am »
Lets just hope the buyer returns dick smith to its former glory. Because with Woolworth's its become a piece of junk! They sell so much crap that isn't even worth buying.
Personal Blog (Not Active Anymore), Mint Electronics:
http://mintelectronics.wordpress.com/
 

Offline vk6hdx

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Re: Woolworths To Sell Australian Kit Maker Dick Smith
« Reply #4 on: February 01, 2012, 04:44:15 am »
I agree that it would be nice to see Dick Smith return to its former glory, however I fear that this will be the nail in the coffin.
 

Offline vk6zgo

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Re: Woolworths To Sell Australian Kit Maker Dick Smith
« Reply #5 on: February 01, 2012, 05:19:10 am »
Back when Woolies took over Dick Smith shops,the decided to remove the big pictures of the eponymous Dick.(I've been busting to use "eponymous"--it sounds rude,doesn't it).
In his place they had a cartoon character called "Little Dick".
This went over like a lead balloon! ;D

VK6ZGO
 

Offline Hypernova

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Re: Woolworths To Sell Australian Kit Maker Dick Smith
« Reply #6 on: February 01, 2012, 05:27:13 am »
I didn't realize Woolworths owned DS.

My first soldering iron was from DS and I still have it, the tip broke and I used the lathe at school to sharpen a rod of copper to replace it. Whenever the tip wore down I would take it to the kitchen and sharpen it with my mom's knife sharpener.

Quick quiz - If a lock smith deals with locks and a black smith deals with iron, what does a dick smith do?
« Last Edit: February 01, 2012, 05:28:56 am by Hypernova »
 

Offline vk6hdx

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Re: Woolworths To Sell Australian Kit Maker Dick Smith
« Reply #7 on: February 01, 2012, 05:34:01 am »
I still have a box of Dickheads matches around the house somewhere :)
 

Offline slateraptor

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Re: Woolworths To Sell Australian Kit Maker Dick Smith
« Reply #8 on: February 01, 2012, 06:05:09 am »
I still have a box of Dickheads matches around the house somewhere :)

Vegemite isn't made in Australia?! Blasphemy!!
 

Offline PeterG

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Re: Woolworths To Sell Australian Kit Maker Dick Smith
« Reply #9 on: February 01, 2012, 06:20:45 am »
I think Vegemite is made in Australia, however the company is owned by the Americans.

Regards
Testing one two three...
 

Offline RCMR

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Re: Woolworths To Sell Australian Kit Maker Dick Smith
« Reply #10 on: February 01, 2012, 06:21:49 am »
I remember visiting Dick Smith headquarters in (I think it was Artarmon) back in the late 1970s.

It was heaven for geeks.  A warehouse filled with every bit of componentry and gadgetry you could want.

What a shame it's now just another Harvey Norman -- and not a good one either.
 

Offline PeterG

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Re: Woolworths To Sell Australian Kit Maker Dick Smith
« Reply #11 on: February 01, 2012, 06:29:08 am »
I remember a couple of years ago i went to a Dick Smith store and asked for a BC548. I ended up finding them myself. Not one person in the store knew what i was asking for, not even the manager. i remember back in the day when dick Smith staff actually knew what they were selling. Not like the trained monkeys they have now in a lot of there stores.

Regards
Testing one two three...
 

Offline GeoffS

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Re: Woolworths To Sell Australian Kit Maker Dick Smith
« Reply #12 on: February 01, 2012, 08:01:37 am »
I can remember shopping at Dick's original store in Gore Hill when Dick himself used to serve behind the counter.
At that time, I worked for the opposition  - Tandy Electronics  :)
 

Offline joedevola

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Re: Woolworths To Sell Australian Kit Maker Dick Smith
« Reply #13 on: February 01, 2012, 08:20:37 am »
Quote
I remember a couple of years ago i went to a Dick Smith store and asked for a BC548

I went to the local DS trying to find a fuse recently.  They did not even have that!
No, I don't call myself an engineer ;)
 

Offline DrGeoff

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Re: Woolworths To Sell Australian Kit Maker Dick Smith
« Reply #14 on: February 01, 2012, 08:35:39 am »
I doubt even Dick would touch it now. Completely wasted.
Was it really supposed to do that?
 

Uncle Vernon

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Re: Woolworths To Sell Australian Kit Maker Dick Smith
« Reply #15 on: February 01, 2012, 08:47:11 am »
JayCar filled the gap when Dick Smith started to wind down there electronics division.

It's a Chasm not a gap and neither DSE or Jaycar ever filled it!  Retail electronics in this country has predominantly been a formula of cheap quality and clearance stock at bankrobber price.
Dick Smith Electronics isn't about to shut down, it did so slowly over the last decade. It's no longer an electronics shop, just another  (arguably) discount appliance retailer.  Woolworth's saw it as a good buy but never had a clue what the market was or how to handle it. The bought some retail gold and turned it into dust.

DSE was great at the time because  there was little else for the hobbyist, Tandy in this country was always a joke. $4 for a collection of three odd value low tolerance carbon resistors anyone? With a global marketplace now more accessible I cannot ever see much option other than a lot of mail order import for the hobbyist. While Jaycar and Altronics appear to be going well it's clear from their catalogues that the fart toys and wireless thermometers allow them to sell components rather than the electronics being a mainstay.  You cannot buy a Hakko Iron from the two majors, their chip lines are sparse to empty, nothing within coo-ee of Digikey or Mouser and there never will be, it's Commercial reality!

As for the jingoistic ravings of Mr Smith, hypocrisy much. He sold his empire 30 years ago along with the use of his name/head, it paid for a lot of helicopters, he can hardly complain now about how it is operated. I doubt DSE while owned by him would stand up very well to the standards he expects other businesses to withhold. Dick Smith attacks Aldi because it is owned by One Man/Family and because it sell reasonable quality Asian tat, attributes you could readily to the former DSE under his helm. Smith's xenophobic rants about German ownership miss the fact that Aldi and the other small players are stocking a higher proportion of Australian content than the majors.

Smith is bitter that his Aussie groceries didn't sell and blames this on public apathy, but the fact that most tasted like shit and commanded a premium price could have had a lot to do with it. His conspiracy theories and misdirected rants cheapen his image and reputation as a very successful entrepeneur and leave him looking like a Dick Head. That is a shame.

 

Offline siliconmix

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Re: Woolworths To Sell Australian Kit Maker Dick Smith
« Reply #16 on: February 01, 2012, 10:26:43 am »
woolies still going in oz ?
 

Online EEVblog

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Re: Woolworths To Sell Australian Kit Maker Dick Smith
« Reply #17 on: February 01, 2012, 10:33:11 am »
I didn't realize Woolworths owned DS.

Tricky Dicks has to be the most long lived and misunderstood "good old days" story I know.
Dick sold out to Woolworth in 1980, and the rest in 1982 - that's right folks, over 30 years ago.
Yet people still talk about the "good old days" of Dick owning the company as if it was only 10 years ago  ::)

Dave
 

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Re: Woolworths To Sell Australian Kit Maker Dick Smith
« Reply #18 on: February 01, 2012, 10:38:50 am »
DSE was great at the time because  there was little else for the hobbyist, Tandy in this country was always a joke. $4 for a collection of three odd value low tolerance carbon resistors anyone? With a global marketplace now more accessible I cannot ever see much option other than a lot of mail order import for the hobbyist. While Jaycar and Altronics appear to be going well it's clear from their catalogues that the fart toys and wireless thermometers allow them to sell components rather than the electronics being a mainstay.  You cannot buy a Hakko Iron from the two majors, their chip lines are sparse to empty, nothing within coo-ee of Digikey or Mouser and there never will be, it's Commercial reality!

Ah, once again people fall into the trap of exaggerating the "good old days", I see this all too often on aussie electronics forums.
Fact is, the current Jaycar catalog has a TON more stuff than DSE ever carried in it's prime, and has always increased it's core electronics inventory year after year as far as I have noticed. Yes, the fart toys pay the bills (they admitted this publicly a few years back in the catalog forward), but anyone who complains about the level of electronics parts offered has a skewed memory I suspect.

Dave.
 

Offline PeterG

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Re: Woolworths To Sell Australian Kit Maker Dick Smith
« Reply #19 on: February 01, 2012, 10:51:21 am »
In Frankson Victoria, all i had was DSE locally. They stocked most of the common components. They were a good store for kits and parts back then. Woolies have done there level best to destroy it since they took over. I admit, they were never as big as Jaycar is now days tho.

Regards
Testing one two three...
 

Offline harnon

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Re: Woolworths To Sell Australian Kit Maker Dick Smith
« Reply #20 on: February 01, 2012, 11:46:58 am »
I think Vegemite is made in Australia, however the company is owned by the Americans.

Regards
Correct - its owned by Kraft which is American, but its made in Australia. 

Interesting factoid - Vegemite uses yeast from breweries to make Vegemite.
 

Uncle Vernon

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Re: Woolworths To Sell Australian Kit Maker Dick Smith
« Reply #21 on: February 01, 2012, 11:52:56 am »
Ah, once again people fall into the trap of exaggerating the "good old days", I see this all too often on aussie electronics forums.
Fact is, the current Jaycar catalog has a TON more stuff than DSE ever carried in it's prime, and has always increased it's core electronics inventory year after year as far as I have noticed. Yes, the fart toys pay the bills (they admitted this publicly a few years back in the catalog forward), but anyone who complains about the level of electronics parts offered has a skewed memory I suspect.

I wasn't suggesting a Good old days, far from it. They were better days for DSE, but it was slim pickings for most hobbyists past their first kit. DSE was the Jaycar of the day.  My fondest memory being the track worn through the vacant blocks to DSE head office from the many Tech businesses in the district. Many times we paid way over the odds for DSE bits & pieces to get stuff out the door, when purchasing had messed up. 

DSE inventory was just as cheesy as their gaudy advertising. It was schoolboy fodder some basic parts and ETI & EA kits on PCBs that looked like they were the product of school for the blind on a long weekend Friday.  It's never been easy sourcing stuff.

Jaycar is the modern day Dickie's. I'm sure if DSE had continued as a parts place it would have been what Jaycar is today.  Serves a purpose, open on Sundays, but not likely to ever be one of your serious suppliers.  You only have to look at Jaycars origins and DSE connections. John Carr & Co whom Jaycay bought out sold some decent stuff from a dingy shop front, they'd have never survived.
 

Offline AntiProtonBoy

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Re: Woolworths To Sell Australian Kit Maker Dick Smith
« Reply #22 on: February 01, 2012, 11:55:09 am »
I have a cheap shit DS brand scope lying around, hahahah.
 

Uncle Vernon

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Re: Woolworths To Sell Australian Kit Maker Dick Smith
« Reply #23 on: February 01, 2012, 12:00:12 pm »
I think Vegemite is made in Australia, however the company is owned by the Americans.
Owned by Americans, not eaten by them. They don't have the palate or the breeding for consuming such a delicacy.
In the land of "Supersize" they don't know not to. spread half an inch of Vegemite on a single slice of toast!
That's enough to remove tree stumps or blow the back of your head clear to mars. See greed isn't always good. ;)
 

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Re: Woolworths To Sell Australian Kit Maker Dick Smith
« Reply #24 on: February 01, 2012, 12:28:00 pm »
Owned by Americans, not eaten by them. They don't have the palate or the breeding for consuming such a delicacy.
In the land of "Supersize" they don't know not to. spread half an inch of Vegemite on a single slice of toast!
That's enough to remove tree stumps or blow the back of your head clear to mars. See greed isn't always good. ;)

It's hilarious when the Yanks do that! and then wonder "how do you eat that shit?"
Using the right amount of Vegemite is an art...

Dave.
 

Offline SgtRock

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Re: Woolworths To Sell Australian Kit Maker Dick Smith
« Reply #25 on: February 01, 2012, 12:50:53 pm »
Greetings EEVBees:

--Thanks to an Ozzie friend who has his mother send it to him, I have acquired a taste for the stuff, if you have some Fosters to wash er down with. Also it is good repacking wheel bearings, as it never breaks down.

"Evabody gotta be somplace."
Jackie Mason 1936 -

Best Regards
Clear Ether
 

Offline baljemmett

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Re: Woolworths To Sell Australian Kit Maker Dick Smith
« Reply #26 on: February 01, 2012, 12:55:34 pm »
It's hilarious when the Yanks do that! and then wonder "how do you eat that shit?"
Using the right amount of Vegemite is an art...

It's amazing there's such a parallel between your Vegemite and our Marmite, and yet never the twain shall meet!  Afraid to say, despite being a huge Marmite fan I found Vegemite rather unpleasant when I tried it; for products that are conceptually so similar that surprised me.

My grandfather once, whilst having breakfast with a delegation of colleagues from France, answered the question "what is this 'Marmite'?" with "oh, it's a spread for your toast, a bit like jam".  Next thing he knew the unfortunate Frenchman who asked the question had slathered a quarter of an inch thick layer of the stuff on his toast and taken a bite...
 

Offline vk6zgo

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Re: Woolworths To Sell Australian Kit Maker Dick Smith
« Reply #27 on: February 01, 2012, 01:03:39 pm »
woolies still going in oz ?

It's a different company altogether.
Way back in the early part of the 20th century,some sharpie registered the name "Woolworths" in Australia,thus locking old
F.H Woolworth out! :)

VK6ZGO
 

Offline amspire

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Re: Woolworths To Sell Australian Kit Maker Dick Smith
« Reply #28 on: February 01, 2012, 01:23:38 pm »
The really sad thing about what Woolworths has done to Dick Smith is that nearly every major regional town had a Dick Smith, and up to a few years ago, every one of them stocked electronic components.

Lately they have been turning all the stores into discount TV stores instead, and dumping all the hobbyist items except for a few very cheap-looking tools.

So now if you live west of Sydney, there is no place for kids who want to get into electronics to go to, and you can't duck out to the nearby shops to get a 5V regulator, or a 5W power resistor. Lots of shops sell Jaycar parts, but in regional areas, you often have to ask then to get in component-type stock for you from Jaycar.

Basically, Dick Smith over many decades had established themselves in a special niche in the community, especially in regional areas. In the last 5 years in particular, Woolworths has been systematically destroying that niche role. The only reason you would go to Dick Smith now in regional areas is that they have a cheaper price for the TV, digital camera or printer then the 4 or 5 other competing discount chains.

Dick Smith wouldn't be worth buying now if you wanted to return to the old business model, as they have been replacing their big, low rental located stores with high rental prime location stores. The stores now are addicted to high turnover items, and maximizing revenue. The stores can no longer afford to have half the store full of low priced, low turnover components, even though the components have a huge profit margin.

Richard.
 

Offline Hypernova

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Re: Woolworths To Sell Australian Kit Maker Dick Smith
« Reply #29 on: February 01, 2012, 03:46:16 pm »
IMO it's inevitable that we move to the online retail model, especially given the emergence of no-minimum-purchase-free-delivery-across-the-country-in-a-day establishments like RS and Farnell in NZ/Aus. You simply can't compete in terms of catalog, price and convenience. When I was in Brisbane I fixed my landlord's LCD TV with a pack of caps from RS for $5 total. Had I tried to get it from the likes of Jaycar the bus fare would have probably exceeded that, and that's assuming I can even find the suitable caps from Jaycar.
 

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Re: Woolworths To Sell Australian Kit Maker Dick Smith
« Reply #30 on: February 01, 2012, 10:00:58 pm »
IMO it's inevitable that we move to the online retail model, especially given the emergence of no-minimum-purchase-free-delivery-across-the-country-in-a-day establishments like RS and Farnell in NZ/Aus.

Yes, that simply can't be beat. They are making a loss on that service for the small orders, but they make up for it on the large orders.

Dave.
 

Offline nukie

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Re: Woolworths To Sell Australian Kit Maker Dick Smith
« Reply #31 on: February 07, 2012, 03:39:58 am »
Last purchase I made from Dicky was a bag of 1kg electronics goodie. It was nice as a kid and for my parts box it was good memory, little that I know Dicky was folding. Many years later it was local electronics store to the rescue, Rockby. I always hit up the store for components before anywhere else. I know the people there and they are most helpful. I hope they are doing fine because these little stores(compared to digi mouser) don't survive well. I really hope for more stores like these.

I once saw an elderly customer at the store. He had a connector which shaped like one of those BNC connector. He needed a replacement but he didn't know what it was. He showed the person at the counter and within minutes (while I was browsing a large collection of 12v fans) he reappeared with a new part. You can't do that online or I have been a frog under the stone, I haven't seen such service before.

Stupid toys jaycar and altronics sells piss me off, it annoys me people are buying them to fill up that void of boredom with momentary sillyness. But its what that sells and the bosses wants to see quick profit.

If you think RS or element are making a loss for selling you AU$5 for some caps and shipping, fear not. Visit some Asian countries they are most likely to have TV & radio repair stores and probably little electronics shops. The caps go for less than a few cents each and these are premium Japanese made caps. Common caps and resistors are chicken feed to these online retailers. However, I am afraid that most of the $5 you paid go to the logistic.
« Last Edit: February 07, 2012, 03:56:10 am by nukie »
 

Online BravoV

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Re: Woolworths To Sell Australian Kit Maker Dick Smith
« Reply #32 on: February 07, 2012, 04:46:08 am »
If you think RS or element are making a loss for selling you AU$5 for some caps and shipping, fear not. Visit some Asian countries they are most likely to have TV & radio repair stores and probably little electronics shops. The caps go for less than a few cents each and these are premium Japanese made caps. Common caps and resistors are chicken feed to these online retailers. However, I am afraid that most of the $5 you paid go to the logistic.

You're right, I live in one of the south east asia countries, these small shops actually carry alot more than just old boring tv & radio parts, now days they're also carrying more exotic high end parts. The reason is there are a lot of small to medium sized electronic factories & manufacturing facilities that are growing really fast since China is now considered quite congested and getting expensive to start. And the most important is the regulation around this regions still not as strict as in China and some even gearing up to support this high tech electronic industry, for example import tax for electronic component some are even at 0%, while finished goods like latest tv, tablet computer or cellphone and etc could be as high as few hundreds percents.  :P

For example high end organic japanese caps either through hole or smd version can be bought for just <$1/pcs, and they're genuine, not those fake knock off caps. Also it seems like they're starting to improve and expanding their smd components inventories even for latest product from well known big multinational manufacturers. Another interesting facts is tools like smd re-working station even for bga reballing are selling like hot cakes here.

Have to admit personally I'm happy to see this changes here. :)


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