Who are the new Starrs of the appliance retailing industry?

By James Wells

ADELAIDE: Dr Christopher and Janine Starrs have become the latest family to become a high profile electrical retailer the local appliance industry – but who are they and why did they purchase Truscotts?

Dr Christopher Starrs, who earned his academic creditials in the field of economics and philosophy, was the previous owner of an airport rent-a-car business and until recently he was the owner of aged care facilities in Adelaide

Janine Starrs has over 25 years experience working in both the private and public sector. Recent roles have included: private company secretary/director, quality manager, improvement and internal audit manager. She has experience in risk analysis, policy formation, project management, external and internal audit, budgeting, credit control, financial analysis, management accounting, company acquisitions and property development. Her qualifications include a BA, Diploma in Accounting, CPA and a Masters of Business Administration (MBA).

Christopher Starrs told Current.com.au that like other South Australian residents he is familiar with the iconic retailing brand.

“My experience with Truscotts is as a very satisfied customer. My business history has included being in the provision of accommodation in Adelaide and consequently I have done a lot of purchasing at retail,” he said.

““This is very much a family activity. My partner Janine is as much a part of this as I am.

"Both Janine and I come to this activity with substantial experience in business, with a strong marketing orientation and my wife in particular has strong accounting and auditing background and more recently in the area which is known as improvement management, making businesses more efficient. We are determined that we are going to make Truscotts back into the thriving local company it was,” Starrs said.

“Though my experience in this industry is limited, there is a huge amount of experience on our team. We have retained the leadership group in place and there are several employees with 20 and 25 years experience with BSL as well as some of the other major players in the industry.”

Starrs said he would like to encourage a positive long term relationship with the new owners of the Betta Electrical and Chandlers franchises – BSR, even though they are now competitors in the marketplace .

“There could be some unfriendliness between the two businesses," Starrs said.

"I have spoken to Everard Johnson and I would hope for further cooperation with them in the future. It is very easy for our people to blame everything on BSL and it is very easy for them to blame everything on the Truscotts people. A problem occurred and both of us should try and adopt a fresh start and not spend too much time back-biting.

“Wherever I have been involved in business, I have always done my best to develop a good relationship with other people involved in that area of interest. I look forward to doing that with the other electrical retailers that are active in Adelaide."

Starrs also plans to meet in the near future with the former owner of the business, Alan Truscott, who sold the business to BSL for over $22 million.

“We will be having lunch in the near future and I hope he will share what his visions were and get him to pass on his goals and wisdom to me," Starrs said.

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