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 it in 1974.

Sold in 1983 to a consortium, by the end of the century, nine more outlets had opened 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 at Chadstone, it has also expanded its retail presence, in Sydney.

“Business has changed dramatically today from what it was when the first store opened,” 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.

It also trades from Essendon Fields and the Maribyrnong Homemaker Centre, in the city’s north west.

Mr Smart said a typical store spreads 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

A former property analyst and print journalist, Marc is the publisher of realestatesource.com.au.