The owner of Australia’s largest online retailer, Kogan.com, will make sure Dick Smith continues online. Ruslan Kogan acquired the company’s intellectual property for an undisclosed sum from receivers Ferrier Hodgson.
Kogan, 32, will operate the online business starting from June 1. He founded Kogan.com in his parents’ garage in 2006. The Amazon-style online marketplace originally sold LCD televisions direct from the manufacturer to customers. While it still focuses on electronics, it also offers other products such as homewares and fitness items.
The site launched in New Zealand two years ago citing lower prices than existing competitors such as Farmers, Ballantynes, JB Hi-Fi, Harvey Norman and TradeMe. In a press release, Kogan then indicated an aim to make the company a household name in New Zealand.
Kogan today told tech site Gizmodo that his motivation for purchasing Dick Smith was to save the brand’s legacy. He plans to transition the business into an online-only model but will not merge the DSE brand with Kogan.com. The business will continue to focus on consumer electronics and appliances.
“Dick Smith is one of the most iconic Australian retail brands and we will be able to leverage the millions of dollars we’ve invested into online retail systems and architecture over the last decade to sustainably run the business,” Kogan told the Sydney Morning Herald.
Kogan.com is currently preparing for an A$300 million IPO.
Privacy concerns around Dick Smith’s customer databases made Kiwi headlines earlier this month after Ferrier Hodgson placed advertisements seeking expressions of interest in the store’s intellectual property. Privacy Commissioner John Edwards released a statement saying that due to a stream of enquiries from the public, his office had been in touch with the legal advisers of the receivers of Dick Smith Electronics and received assurances that the receivers will comply with their obligations under the New Zealand and Australian Privacy Acts.
For those interested in removing their details, Consumer NZ has recommended unsubscribing from any Dick Smith email lists they receive.