Interiors - PowerHouse shakes up its superstore format

PowerHouse, the electricals retailer bought from receivers by New Zealand-based Pacific Retail Group (PRG) last year, has unveiled a new-look superstore format at Sudbury in Suffolk.

The 8,500 sq ft (790 sq m) store features a New Zealand-designed and manufactured merchandising system that has been adapted for the UK by Bedford shopfitter Withey Contracts, at a cost of about£300,000.

Chris Cardwell, executive director at PRG property arm Pacific Retail Properties, said: 'This is the first new superstore since PRG took over, and is a new format that has evolved around the repositioning of the PowerHouse brand. It has a different look and feel and was modelled on PRG's New Zealand format. It's likely that it will be the first of many - we are fairly familiar with it in New Zealand, but it is a trial at the moment.'

Withey managing director Nigel Tite said: 'The reason a New Zealand system was used is two-fold: the first was cost and the second was that PRG's merchandising team understood the system and were familiar with using it.' He said Withey altered the bay sizes and changed the colour scheme to make the system more acceptable to the UK market.

Prior to PowerHouse going into receivership last year, Withey was the 'main con-tractor for PowerHouse, and things have picked up where they left off', added Tite.