By James Wells
WHYALLA: Electrical Discounters has announced with regret that it will leave the BSL group and join the Narta group, which will be effective from 1 September.
The owner of the four Electrical Discounters stores, Tom Antonio, told Current.com.au that he was extremely upset about leaving the Betta Stores group after supporting it for over 20 years.
“I am going through a grieving process at the moment. We loved the group and I cherish many moments with the group,” Antonio said.
“There is an enormous amount of gifted retailers in the group who are great friends of mine that I have had to leave behind. Those people who know me, know I have been loyal and have the highest regard for the Betta Electrical group. I have the highest admiration for the members of the group and the direction that Betta Electrical want to go down.”
Antonio said that the move to Narta is designed to take his company to the next stage in its retail business.
“As far as this company is concerned, we have to be very competitive and professional in the way we conduct ourselves to our consumers. That is why Electrical Discounters is now heading into a new era with the most significant change in the company’s history.
“The glove does not fit any more. For us to expand to the levels that we need to and to deliver the ultimate in professional service, we need a new vehicle. Narta is that vehicle to give us what we need for the future.
“With Narta, we can individualise our stores to suit our regional areas. We can’t do that with a group.”
Electrical Discounters operates four stores in South Australia located at Whyalla, Port Augusta, Port Lincoln and Port Pirie.
Antonio is about to complete one of the largest retail store renovations in the electrical retailing industry this year in Port Augusta.
“The Port Augusta store is now clearly a landmark, not only architecturally, but also aesthetically to suit the whole of the foreshore development which has being voted as the best foreshore development in South Australia by the South Australian Government. The feedback from the public has been truly amazing,” Antonio said in a recent statement to suppliers.
Antonio also plans to expand his Whyalla store from 1,500 square metres to 4,000 square metres to accommodate furniture, bedding and a larger warehouse. A $250,000 investment has recently been made to install a new digital imaging area within the Whyalla store including a Fuji F570 photo lab.
“Upon completion, Electrical Discounters will have invested over $20 million in regional South Australia with the aim to be clearly the number one in the electrical, furniture and digital processing industry in regional South Australia.”