In the not-so distant past, the independent electronics store was commonplace in many towns and cities. It may be 2017 now, but it’s important to remember they’re still going strong.
Recently, we had the pleasure of attending the Leading Edge Electronics Annual Conference. It was awesome to speak to so many of the amazing people who are responsible for bringing the best in electronics to the doorstep of regional Australia.
When meeting these small business owners, what really stood out was the passion they have for what they do, and the life they bring to the industry. With time-tested values and honest service, they drive hard every day to bring the products to their stores that their customers want. Sure, Leading Edge Electronics might be boasting close to 100 stores, but walk into any individual store and you’ll be greeted by the local owners, most of whom know many customers by name, and who take the time to make sure those people walk out with the very best solution they can possibly muster for their unique problem, whatever that may be.
It’s no secret that business has changed over several decades. The local store faces an increasing challenge in a cut-throat market. Their power now, stems from being a versatile group. They have the collective buying power that rivals large chain retail stores, but still have the flexibility to customise their stores to suit their market, their customers, and even their preferences.
It’s an impressive model, and one we feel should be admired and supported. These business owners pour their heart and soul into delivering the best possible products they can to the marketplace. The Leading Edge Group was founded in 1986, and partners with world-leading brands to bring some of that muscle and might. But it’s not all about business. Business can be a tough road, and the group provides comradery and a support network to keep the engines running at the heart of these businesses.
One thing that we never fully appreciated about The Leading Edge Electronics outlets was the vast range, and the quality of brands you’ll find in each store. Walking through the trade exhibition, my eyes were opened; it’s true, you’ll find many of your favourite parts for hobby electronics. Arduino and Raspberry Pi products will be abundant, as well as soldering irons, components, and a huge range of the parts we use in many of our projects. But what was an unexpected find, are all sorts of amazing things from some of the biggest names in the industry. You’ll find quality solar and power hardware, CB radios, surveillance equipment, high-powered WiFi gear, and so much more. It’s a versatile and powerful range of products.
So next time you’re considering where to go for your next purchase of electronics gear, remember the super hard-working, independently-owned retailers, who are part of the Leading Edge Group.