SMITHS CITY (SOUTHERN) LIMITED is the Group’s trading arm.
The over-riding retail strategy centre’s upon the retailing of branded product (as opposed to discount unbranded product) supported by a full in-store and delivery service (as opposed to a check out cash and carry style operation).
SMITHS CITY was founded in 1918 and is a long established, successful and profitable retail trading operation with considerable brand recognition. It operates 30 Smiths City stores and 4 Clearance Centre stores. All stores are in high profile locations in major towns and cities throughout the country.
Smiths City retails a full range of home appliances, home furnishings, home heating products, carpets and sporting goods throughout all 30 locations. The Clearance Centre’s sell a full range of affordable new product together with used and second hand products.
A clear focus on buying and marketing has resulted in Smiths City having a significant market share in product areas identified as strategically important in particular, the provision of heating solutions, consumer electronic products, kitchen appliances, indoor and outdoor furniture, bedding, lawnmowers, cycles and camping equipment. Its primary target market is the middle to lower income household.
SMITHS CITY FINANCE is the Group’s finance company.
The major functions of this company are divided into two parts:
- The provision of flexible finance options for the retail divisions. These options can be secured (hire purchase) or unsecured (revolving credit); and
- The provision of unsecured loan facilities under the brand Lifestyle Plus to customers with a proven credit history with Smiths City.
As at 30 April 2009 the gross value of the finance portfolio was approximately $91million. There were approximately 76,000 active accounts.
The finance company has a three year evergreen funding facility in place with Fisher & Paykel Finance Limited. As at 30 April 2009 the amount financed was approximately $83.1million.
Day to day control of the Company’s consumer finance facilities is considered a major strength for the Company.
Smithcorp Finance Limited also owns a small company called SCG Finance.
SMITHS CITY PROPERTIES LIMITED is the Group’s property company.
Prime locations and superior store presentation are critical to the success of any retail organisation. The Group has recognised this and retained ownership of its key Colombo Street location. Based in central Christchurch this site houses the Group’s largest retail store which contributes between 20% and 25% of the Group’s sales. Until the earthquake in February the site also housed the Group Administrative office which has now been relocated to Watts Road, Christchurch.
The property company has also been used to undertake developments for the retail organisation’s where considered appropriate by the Board.