It's Ruslan Kogan to the rescue as the outspoken retail icon buys up the Dick Smith online business, including its customer database.
The Dick Smith brand will live on as an online-only electronics retail store across Australia and New Zealand after Kogan.com has bought the brand, website, trademarks and, yes, the customer database.
Kogan is intending to keep the Dick Smith business running as separate business to Kogan.com, operating under its own original brand.
Earlier this month the beleaguered retailer Dick Smith began to sell off all available assets after going into receivership at the start of the year. One of those assets was, controversially, the full customer database. At the time, privacy groups such as Electronic Frontiers Australia noted some concerns about the database sale.
Announcing the Dick Smith acquisition today, Kogan acknowledged those concerns and said that all previous Dick Smith customers would be contacted by the new business with an opt-out email to remove themselves from the database. Also, anyone who supplied their details to Dick Smith after the company went into voluntary administration on January 4 will not have their details passed on to Kogan.com.
A Kogan spokesperson said that while the purchase included the brand and "goodwill", no inventory was bought as part of the deal. Given that Dick Smith was one of the few retail outlets that stocked Amazon Kindle and Oppo phones, its not clear if these deals will move over with the new ownership.
Oppo in particular was only available in Dick Smith or Optus Stores, while Kindle appeared in Officeworks stores at the end of the last year. Spokespeople for both Oppo and Kindle were unable to provide comment.
Inventory will be important for the new Dick Smith if Kogan wants the stores to be more than a different brand offering exactly the same products as Kogan.com.