Growth

John Winning cooks up a deal with Kitchen Headquarters acquisition

Eloise Keating /

Winning Appliances is expanding its presence in Western Australia with the acquisition of fellow appliance retailer Kitchen Headquarters.

The deal, which will see the Winning Group take on three Kitchen Headquarters stores in WA, comes just weeks after rumours began circulating that the family-owned business could be considering an initial public offering.

Chief executive John Winning hosed down the speculation at the time, saying while the company does examine its options, “speculation that we have made a decision to IPO is incorrect”.

Winning told SmartCompany today the three Kitchen Headquarters stores will be rebranded to Winning Appliances outlet in the next three months. He said the group is also looking at what can be done in terms of integrating the Kitchen Headquarters online store with Appliances Online.

Winning says the group was interested in Kitchen Headquarters because of the possibilities it presents to improve both its bricks-and-mortar and online businesses.

“From our point of view, we have a good set up [in Western Australia] in terms of logistics,” says Winning, who says it can be difficult for retailers to share stock between the east and west coasts of Australia.

“Hopefully it will complement by allowing Appliances Online to hold more stock, and the stores to access the online stock,” says Winning. “Customers will have access to more stock and more timely delivery.”

“And we like the idea of expanding into new areas,” says Winning. “The WA team is very much aligned with our values.”

Winning Group said in a statement this week Kitchen Headquarters founders Rick Hart and Nick Kirby will continue to be involved in the business, with the duo to remain in their management positions. All current Kitchen Headquarters staff will also continue in their roles.

Hart said in the same statement he is proud to be joining the Winning Group.

“Having worked in the appliance industry for more than 30 years, I am looking forward to joining a company that not only shares my passion for appliances, but upholds similar values and a high standard of customer service,” said Hart.

The family-owned Winning Appliances was originally established by Richard William Winning in 1906 as R.W. Winning & Co, with the company adopting its current name in 1990.

It is currently overseen by fourth-generation family member John Winning, who launched online appliance retailer Appliances Online in 2005. The Winning Group also operates the Big Brown Box and Handy Crew businesses.

As SmartCompany reported earlier this year, the group now has 500 employees – including showrooms in both NSW and Queensland – along with over $150 million a year in sales.

Winning is excited about the new financial year, telling SmartCompany the group has some “really exciting marketing initiatives” planned for both Winning Appliances and Appliances Online in coming months.

The group is also preparing to open a new logistics centre in New South Wales in August, which Winning says will mean the company will have the “right logistics structure to support our growth. “We’ll be able to release the handbrake,” he says.

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Eloise Keating

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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