The new Jaycar flagship ‘hub’ store is open at Central Park on Broadway in Sydney. It is unlike any other Jaycar store you have ever seen.

Derek Van-Ooyen, Jaycar Central Park store manager, is delighted. “We have 420 square metres, filled with over 6000 must-have techy products. But we also have special spaces, makers hubs and a fresh, inviting new store design.”

“This is our first store in a retail mall. We are close to UTS, but we admit that this will be a destination shop – you will want to come here, rather than just breeze in.”

Van-Ooyen said that he hoped the new Jaycar store would rekindle people’s interest in electronics.

“Once they see what we have, it incubates the urge to create or fix something .”

Jaycar
So many well laid out, well stocked walls

Indeed, the store is huge compared to the typical cubby-hole stores packed floor to ceiling. It is well laid out, and you can easily spend an hour or so wandering the aisles or rummaging through the parts carousels. I particularly liked that the space allows ‘categorisation’ of like goods.

Those categories cover more than 7000 items.

Jaycar
Carousels make for a veritable cornucopia of bit and pieces

You can download the 584-page searchable catalogue here and order click and collect.

  • Components
  • Cables and Connectors
  • Security and Surveillance
  • IT and Coms’
  • Sound and Video
  • Power
  • Lifestyle – Outdoors and Automotive
  • Hobbies and Gadgets

The Makers Hub is like my workshop should be – well laid out, well equipped and supervised to prevent harm.

In essence, it allows you to access tools like 3D printers, routers, soldering stations and much more to build your project or kit. And there are some lovely empathetic people skilled in not belittling you when it does not work.

Then there is the Thinker Space replete with the Samsung Flip Whiteboard (important to allow you to download what you scribbled on it) and a boardroom table. I can see this is a place where the old adage, “Measure twice before you cut once” coming into play with helpful advice from Jaycar minions.

Note the Samsung Flip – excellent creative space

Jaycar’s Chief Marketing Officer, Jarrod Carroll says,

“We are trying to push the boundaries of experiential retailing in this sphere. Our new “Maker Hub” space will allow customers to have hands-on experience with many of our products. For example, people will be able to work on benches with Arduino & Raspberry Pi® microcontrollers and experience various workshops lead by our in-store tech experts.  It’s all about inspiring people through the endless possibilities of technology. “

To celebrate the flagship store opening at Central Park Mall, Jaycar will be running ‘Tech Fest’ between 14-16 June offering free tunes & chips, daily giveaways and promotions on a range of tech products in store. They will also be running four workshops and interactive demonstrations over the three days to showcase how all things tech comes together. The full schedule of workshops will be available from Wednesday 5 June at Jaycar’s: Facebook page.

What is Jaycar?

Sexagenarians may remember the original Tandy stores of the 70s. These were the forerunner to Dick Smith Stores before being sold to Woolworths in 2001. The rest is history. Tandy – gone. Dick Smith – gone (well it’s a Kogan online store now and nothing like what we fondly remember).

Gary Johnson, a former Dick Smith exec, founded Jaycar in 1981 to take over the gap in the ‘nerd’ market. It has more than 100 stores and 200 agents in regional areas. His words, “Jaycar is the place Dick Smith used to be.”

Jaycar’s success is in selling a huge range of house brands at reasonable prices and excellent backup and support. Where a house brand doesn’t cover a category, then it sells a brand name.

GadgetGuy’s take – Saturday mornings just got better at Jaycar Central Park

I love Jaycar. Every few months I restock on much-needed items from Isopropyl alcohol (for cleaning, not drinking) to those bits you can’t get anywhere else. I don’t spend a lot as prices are pretty fair.

Conversely, my wife loves Sephora, and we part ways while I fulfil my inner nerd. Her purchases are just as fulfilling but cost a hell of a lot more.

I browsed the store from top to bottom, comparing prices with what I usually pay elsewhere. Some were excellent, and some were fair, but none were over-the-top. And having 6000+ items in one store means you usually walk out with more than you went in there to get – Batteries? Check. Cables? Check. Robotic kit? Check???