In 1968, as a young electronics technician with a love for anything with wires, Dick Smith took a leap of faith with a $610 investment to found the Dick Smith brand we know and love today.
In the beginning, Dick focused his energy towards installing and servicing car radios. The following year, his business’ success meant he not only needed a bigger shop, but more shops!
He moved the business to bigger premises. First Atkinson Street, St Leonards, and later Carlotta Street, Artarmon, with a flagship store nearby on the Pacific Highway, Gore Hill.
Alongside the car radio business, Dick opened ‘Dick Smith Wholesale’. It was built to be a playground for electronics hobbyists like Dick himself, and sold a huge array of electronics components to professionals and weekend hobbyists alike. It was hugely successful.
Things were moving fast for Dick, and his brand’s meteoric rise wasn’t about to slow down any time soon.
By 1980, the company had grown to 20 stores and Dick had sold 60% of the company’s working share to Woolworths Limited. No less than two years later, he sold the balance to Woolworths who took full ownership of the company, having paid a total of A$25million. Dick Smith continued to add to its network of small ‘main street’ stores in suburbs and regional cities across Australia. Soon you wouldn’t have to travel far to find the iconic yellow-and-black retailer selling all the latest and greatest tech essentials.
Within a few decades, there were hundreds of Dick Smith stores across Australia, including numerous David Jones Electronics powered by Dick Smith stores, Dick Smith Powerhouse super-stores and a Move concept store.
As of May 2016, Kogan.com acquired the Dick Smith brand name and began taking over operations.
As Kogan.com CEO Ruslan Kogan stated on the day of the announcement, “Dick Smith is one of the most iconic retail brands in Australia.”
“I remember as a kid always visiting Dick Smith to look for parts to upgrade my computer. There is a strong history of passion in the Dick Smith community for how technology can improve our lives, and we look forward to helping make it more affordable and accessible for all.”
“We will invest in building and nurturing the Dick Smith community, and honour the great legacy of this Australian business.”
Today, Dick Smith remains a household name synonymous with great value and consumers can purchase the best products at incredible prices from Dick Smith throughout Australia (via www.dicksmith.com.au) and New Zealand (via www.dicksmith.co.nz).