By Kate Leaver
One of Western Australia’s oldest and most prominent whitegoods retailers, Kambo’s, is understood to have gone into administration.
The home appliance and electronic retailer is owned by well-known Perth businessman Peter Kambouris, director of Kamb Investments Pty Ltd.
The company owns six Kambo’s outlets in WA as well as premium whitegoods retailer Liebe and Haus, which has stores in Osborne Park and Myaree.
All stores and outlets were closed on Saturday, and Kambo’s website, phone lines and social media pages were down, while signs on the doors and windows of the Hutton Street outlet stated the store was closed for stocktake.
Administrators Hall and Chadwick are believed to have been called in.
The Kambouris family opened their first electrical retail store, Central Sales, on Milligan Street in Perth in 1962.
Housing drop-off a factor: analyst
Retail analyst Barry Urquhart said the emergence of competitive online outlets and a declining WA housing market would have affected the retailers.
Liebe and Haus stores in Osborne Park and Myaree were also closed to shoppers. (ABC News: Marcus Alborn)
“The number of start-up homes over the last three years in Western Australia has fallen away significantly,” he said.
“That has had a huge impact on the sale of electrical appliances and also furniture, because there’s been less need for the fitting out and furnishings of homes.”
Mr Urquhart said the launch of online shopping giant Amazon in Australia late last year in particular would have impacted the profitability of bricks and mortar retailers, with loyalty no longer a factor to many consumers.
“Kambo’s and very many other retailers are suffering because the perception is when you go online and you go to Amazon, prices will be as much as 30 to 40 per cent cheaper with a product range of 60 million product choices,” he said.
“[That’s] a lot more than the 5,000 that you would find in any electrical appliance retailer.
“The typical adult Australian today is discerning, demanding, well-informed and extremely price sensitive … loyalty is not a factor that is prevalent in the marketplace.”
Kamb Investments could not be reached for comment.