JB Hi Fi Outgrows East Keilor Birthplace

JB Hi Fi is staring down progress in East Keilor.

This month, the electrical retail chain, which is now ASX-listed, vacated the Centreway store (pictured, top), where John Barbuto founded the business in 1974.

Barbuto sold his business in 1983 to a consortium, which by the end of the century opened nine more JB Hi Fi outlets across Melbourne.

In 2003, JB Hi Fi was floated and a year later the company acquired a chain of rival Clive Anthony stores in Queensland. Now headquartered in Chadstone, JB Hi Fi has also expanded into Sydney.

“Business has changed dramatically today from what it was when the first store opened,” JB Hi Fi chief executive officer Terry Smart told BusinessDay. “Current ranges were expanded and many new categories were added to compete the entertainment offering.”

“The small size of East Keilor meant the offering was compromised, and many of the company’s loyal customer’s knew this – choosing the visit one of the surrounding stores to browse bigger more complete offerings.”

JB Hi Fi recently opened a larger store at Westfield Airport West not far away from the small Centreway retail quadrant where it has been a long-term tenant.

It also trades from Essendon Fields and the Maribyrnong Homemaker Centre, in the vicinity.

Mr Smart said a typical JB Hi Fi store is spread over about 1200 square metres. The East Keilor shop, which punched into two neighbouring stores over the years, measured less than half this amount

The three Centreway shops are now for lease via Ray White.

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Marc Pallisco

Marc Pallisco

A freelance property writer and analyst, Marc is a co-founder of realestatesource.com.au.

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