Dick Smith name to live on as e-commerce site

Photo / Nick Reed
Photo / Nick Reed

The Dick Smith name may live on - after an Australian e-commerce entrepreneur announced last night he'd bought up the collapsed retailer's intellectual property.

The Sydney Morning Herald is reporting that Ruslan Kogan wants to re-open Dick Smith as an online-only retailer, now that he has bought the company's customer and loyalty database, websites and domain names from receiver Ferrier Hodgson.

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It says Dick Smith's online business accounted for only 8 per cent of total sales, but bidding for the intellectual property was 'hotly contested'.

Kogan, 32, runs an existing online electronics business, kogan.com, which he founded in 2006 selling televisions online from the garage of his parents' house.

The entrepreneur is now worth an estimated $315 million.

"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.

He said he would invest to rebuild consumer trust that was damaged after the company's collapse in January and make Dick Smith's online website "better than ever."

"Ultimately, a brand grows when it delivers on its promises. We will work tirelessly to exceed the expectations of every Dick Smith customer with a beautiful shopping experience," he told the Sydney Morning Herald.

Kogan became interested in technology at a young age, building his first computer at age nine.

Since then he has launched more than 20 businesses, including cleaning and reselling used golf balls, a car wash operation, a mobile phone repair business and more recently a web design agency.

He has received a string of awards including Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year in 2012, Deloitte Technology Fast 50 two years in a row, Top 50 Most Influential People in Tech by The Australian and The Australian Top 5 Young Chief Executives, and has worked in the IT department of some big names such as Bosch, GE and Telstra.

Kogan is active and verified on Twitter where he shares various thoughts and comments to more than 17,000 followers.





Ferrier Hodgson is closing all of Dick Smith's bricks and mortar stores and liquidating stock, but the online business remains stable, with the receivers buying in new stock.

Nearly 3,000 staff lost their jobs as a result of the collapse of the Dick Smith chain including 430 in New Zealand.

- NZ Herald

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