By James Wells
SYDNEY: It appears that Harvey Norman may fall well short of the 60 Retravision NSW stores that a financial analyst yesterday suggested may be re-branded as Harvey Norman or Joyce Mayne stores.
According to Berny’s Retravision proprietor, Mark Casper, when Retravision NSW stores went into receivership, there were 113 stores in the group turning over approximately $300 million. Since then 20 stores from the Hunter and Northern Group have become business partners with Retravision Queensland to obtain stock for Christmas ahead of a plan to formalise this arrangement on a permanent basis.
A further 24 stores from the Southern, Western and Metropolitan Groups have been confirmed as partnering with Retravision Vic-Tas.
“We are expecting up to 85 stores to migrate in total,” Mark Casper told Current.com.au, referring to the migration plan which has been put forward by the two Retravision groups and is supported by Retravision Australia head office and its CEO, Keith Perkin.
Following the suggested migration of 85 stores, Harvey Norman is expected to only have 28 stores to choose from.
Three stores in northern Sydney are expected to close at Balgowlah, Narrabeen and Gordon, leaving just 25 left.
Even though Harvey Norman appears to have brought across five former Retravision shareholders at this stage including stores at Muswellbrook, Dubbo and Bennetts Green as well as the stores from former chairmen of the group – Paul Murphy in Newcastle and Michael Doumani in Cobar, there are 20 stores remaining.
Mark Casper said he expects approximately 10 stores will leave Retravision NSW to join Harvey Norman, which is less than nine per cent of the original group.
Stores that remain unaccounted for at this stage include: Retravision Auburn, Retravision Castle Hill, Retravision Penrith, Retravision Windsor and Retravision Richmond.
“This has cleaned out a lot of the dead wood,” Casper told Current.com.au.
“The stores that have not been paying the bills have been dragging us behind. In six months time, this will be long gone and we will be looking forward.”
The fate of recently-appointed Retravision NSW chief executive officer, Ian Goldmann, and the remainder of the Retravision NSW staff remains unclear at this stage.