ONLINE retailer Ruslan Kogan has swept in to rescue Dick Smith after acquiring the brand’s intellectual property from receivers Ferrier Hodgson.
Mr Kogan has bought the Dick Smith brand and trademarks, its online business in Australia and New Zealand, customer databases and websites for an undisclosed sum.
He intends to run the Dick Smith online business separately to Kogan.com, which specialises in cheap home-brand electronics, but will use the pooled buying power to negotiate better terms with suppliers and offer cheaper prices.
The intellectual property received “aggressive” bidding in an auction by Dick Smith’s receivers Ferrier Hodgson, Fairfax reported.
“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,” Mr Kogan said in a statement Tuesday.
Receivers for the Dick Smith chain failed to find a buyer for its bricks and mortar stores, the closure of which is expected to result in nearly 3000 job losses.
Kogan had previously offered to honour Dick Smith customers’ gift cards.
In a statement, Kogan said the goal was to “invest in the brand and rebuild consumer trust”. “We acknowledge that consumer trust takes years to build and can be damaged very quickly,” he said.
“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.
“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.”
Kogan will take over the running of the online business from 1 June 2016. All Dick Smith customers will be contacted with the option of having their details removed prior to the transfer to new owners.
Customers who provided their information to Dick Smith after the appointment of receivers on 4 January 2016 will not have that information disclosed to the new owner.
“After a thorough process with multiple bidding parties we are pleased that Kogan.com is the successful acquirer of the Dick Smith online business,” Dick Smith receiver James Stewart said.
“As Australia’s largest pureplay online retail website, Kogan.com is a natural and logical owner of the Dick Smith online business and we are particularly pleased that the Dick Smith brand will continue under its stewardship.”