Dick Smith boss steps down

By Allie Coyne on Aug 1, 2012 10:30 AM
Filed under Hardware

Woolworths looks to sell chain.

Dick Smith boss Debra Singh has resigned her position as parent company Woolworths gears up to sell off the struggling consumer electronics chain.

Singh will end an 11-year career at the retailer next week. During her tenure she oversaw a nationwide store refurbishment as well as the recent restructure and potential sell-off of the brand. 

According to an internal memo sighted by the Australian Financial Review, Singh’s resignation is timed with the offloading of the business.

Parent company Woolworths early this year revealed a plan to offload its struggling consumer electronics chain following a strategic review.

It will close 100 of 386 underperforming Dick Smith stores across Australia and New Zealand over the next two years through a staged restructure, while looking to sell off the rest of the business.

52 Dick Smith stores have been closed so far this year, with 348 still operating.

Several parties have expressed interest in acquiring the brand but Woolworths is yet to officially announce potential buyers.

The AFR reported several private equity firms, including Australian-based Anchorage Capital, are considered likely bidders.

In March, Woolworths revealed the divestment and restructure of the failing Dick Smith brand had cost it $217 million.

Last week Woolworths reported an increase in consumer electronics sales for its fiscal year 2012, announcing a 2.3 percent rise in sale for the discontinued Dick Smith brand, to $1.5 billion.

Dick Smith did not respond to request for comment by the time of publication.

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