By James Wells

Clive Peeters will conduct a $15 million expansion in Western Australia following strong results for the company’s Rick Hart business.

The first stage of the expansion will be the new flagship Rick Hart store in the Perth suburb of Northbridge which will open next month.

According to a West Australian newspaper article published yesterday, the former Megamart site will be the biggest electrical showroom in Western Australia and will be able to open seven days under the state’s restrictive Sunday trading legislation.

In the article, Clive Peeters executive director, Rick Hart, said a new store at Mandurah located in a bulky goods area as well as renovations to the Belmont store are also expected prior to Christmas.

Hart also confirmed that early next year a new home entertainment showroom will be installed at the Osborne Park store and the Park Discounts store at Victoria Park will be renamed Rick Hart.

Park Discounts was acquired by Rick Hart prior to being purchased by Clive Peeters for $10.5 million last year.

Hart said that the $15 million expansion which includes stocking the new stores, would not have been possible without being part of a publicly listed company.

In recently published financial results, Rick Hart stores achieved sales growth of 11.7 per cent for the Clive Peeters group, while the group’s stores on the east coast of Australia grew by just 0.1 per cent.

Hart said the WA market remained strong following low unemployment and wages growth.

“All sectors of the market have been buoyant in line with the WA economy but particularly technology products like plasma and LCD televisions have been massive,” he told the West Australian.

Chris Gerdes and Nick Kirby refused to comment further on the expansion.