Next Byte continues expansion

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Apple reseller Next Byte continues to aggressively spread across the country, opening a shop in Sydney suburb Balmain on Saturday to bring its total number of stores to 13. The company opened its twelfth store--in Adelaide seaside suburb Glenelg--just two weeks ago.

Adam Steinhardt, managing director at Next Byte, said that the Adelaide-based retailer aims to have 18 to 20 stores across Australia by the end of this year, funded by reinvestment of profits. In about eight weeks another two Next Byte stores will open in Melbourne, he said.

?We can see potential in Melbourne, Sydney and Canberra. And Perth should get another one,? he said. ?We are pretty keen to get economies of scale to enable us to become known as a mainstream brand in Australia, so we need enough shops to get enough to spend on direct multi-media marketing and advertising to take the Apple message to the people.?

Steinhardt said Next Byte had previously opened two stores a year on average but was now doing its own shop refits--a process once managed by Apple.

The company, which is ?heading towards $60 million in revenue?, could now open up stores faster to speed its expansion, he said.

Steinhardt said the new Balmain and Glenelg stores were both in trendy waterside shopping strips where he believed the look and feel of the Apple range would attract customers. ?The [new stores] are surrounded by quality homeware shops,? he said.

The company will also move its Brisbane store from Spring Hill into the CBD in two weeks to better target potential walk-in customers.

?The major thing is we?re very happy with the way the products are going with first-time customers [walking in off the street],? he said. ?A lot of people have never seen the [new] Apple computers before.?

Steinhardt said Next Byte estimates that there is around $250 million worth of business for Apple in Australia. ?It?s still a huge market,? he said.

Next Byte stocks Apple and Apple-compatible products. The company has 92 staff across Australia and stores in Adelaide, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and on the Gold Coast.

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