Ruslan Kogan buys Dick Smith brand and plans to operate online-only electronics retailer

Dick Smith

Entrepreneur Ruslan Kogan will operate Dick Smith as an online-only electronics retailer from June, after purchasing the brand’s intellectual property and online business from receivers Ferrier Hodgson.

Fairfax reports Kogan has secured Dick Smith’s trademarks, websites, domain names and customer and loyalty databases for an undisclosed sum and plans to operate the Dick Smith brand in Australia and New Zealand separately from the business.

Receivers Ferrier Hodgson commenced a sale campaign for Dick Smith’s online divisions and intellectual property, including the chain’s website domains and customer databases, at the start of March.

The campaign came just days after Ferrier Hodgson announced all remaining Dick Smith stores will close after a buyer was unable to be found for the electronics chain.

According to Fairfax, Dick Smith’s online business accounted for around 8% of the retailer’s total sales and was recorded annual sales of around $95 million.

Kogan said in a statement this morning Dick Smith is an “iconic Australian brand” and he is “thrilled to be able to keep it alive, as well as Aussie owned and run”.

“We will invest in building and nurturing the Dick Smith community and honour the great legacy of this Australian business.

“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 make it more affordable and accessible for all.”

Ferrier Hodgson partner James Stewart said in the same statement there were “multiple bidding parties” for the online assets of Dick Smith.

“We are pleased that is the successful acquirer of the Dick Smith online business,” Stewart said.

“As Australia’s largest pure-play online retail website, 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.”

What happens next will take ownership of the Dick Smith online business from June 1.

The company said this morning all Dick Smith customers will now be contacted and given the option of having their details removed from the business’ databases before the ownership transfer takes place.

However, customers who provided details to Dick Smith following the appointment of receivers on January 4 will not have their information provided to said all customer information currently held by Dick Smith will be “handled in accordance with the requirements of Australian and New Zealand privacy law during the change in ownership”.

Eloise Keating is the editor of SmartCompany. Previously, Eloise was news editor at Books+Publishing, the trade press for the Australian book industry.

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  • Mike at Old Bar

    I have bought quite a few items online both from Kogan and Dick Smith and received excellent service, products and prices. Seems like a marriage made in heaven.

    Dick Smith’s online store was pretty much affected by the declining reputation of the bricks and mortar operation. By cutting it loose and operating purely online I reckon it has a very viable future.