The Dick Smith stores have been part of the Australian business scene since the 1970s. They changed their approach more than once in that time; initially selling a combination of electronic components and a few novelty items, they later moved to cater to the CB radio craze, home computer revolution, games consults and eventually became a consumer electronics store for audio visual and computers far removed from their hobby / technical beginnings. Yet despite past changes to accommodate the consumer market they went into receivership early in 2016.
What has had people looking concerned is the abrupt price change in the value of the Dick Smith Company. It was sold by Woolworth to anchorage Capital Partners for a mere $20 million in 2012, only to be listed on the stock exchange for $520 million less than two years later (December 2013). This looks to be dishonest, though it might well be just poor judgement. Those who invested in the stock exchange how find their Dick Smith stocks are worthless.
This looks like it was set up to fail. The company was made to look valuable, people invested in its future, and then it was discarded. The major profit was from those who invested in it.
Perhaps this was all set up, perhaps not. Dick smith stores now have more competition than ever. The electronic component market, once difficult for those not ordering in wholesale, is covered well by the internet, as well as stores like Jaycar. The commercial audio-visual and computer market has JB HiFi, Officeworks and almost every department store offering the same products. What could Dick Smith do that other groups could not?
Quite likely the end was in sight for a while. Knowing the business had no long term prospects it was made to look profitable, and sold for a profit on that look.
The name of the Dick smith group has been bought by Kogan.com. They may be more yet to the story.