Retravision NSW turmoil to continue over Christmas period

By James Wells

SYDNEY: The fallout from Retravision NSW will continue to provide industry commentators with plenty to think about over the Christmas break as Harvey Norman, Betta Stores Retail (BSR) and now Woolworths begin picking at the carcass of the former electrical group.

Yesterday, Retravision Temora and Retravision West Wyalong were reopened as Harvey Norman stores in what is expected to become the first of many new franchised businesses in New South Wales. Retravision Temora proprietor, Philip Blyer told Current.com.au that after over 40 years with Retravision, his business needed a new business model.

Philip Blyer’s father, Fred Blyer, was one of the early directors of Retravision NSW and the proprietor of Fred’s TV in West Wyalong in the 1960s. Fred Blyer bought the Temora store 28 years ago.

Philip Blyer said he will keep Harvey Norman Temora as a family business by working alongside his sister and brother, while the new West Wyalong Harvey Norman is managed by Philip’s father-in-law Bruce Scriven.

Current.com.au understands that in addition to the Retravision store at Wagga Wagga, known as The Clef, which opened earlier this week as a Joyce Mayne store, up to half a dozen stores will leave the former Retravision NSW group to join new groups in the new year after Christmas sales periods have been completed.

Retravision stores located at Lithgow, Bateman’s Bay and Narooma have been associated with possible move to Harvey Norman, but neither the stores or the franchisor have confirmed any defections at this stage.

Retravision suppliers have informed Current.com.au that in excess of a dozen stores from the former Retravision New South Wales have made an approach to the new owner of the Betta Electrical and Chandlers franchises – BSR about joining their group.

“We are not in a position to make a comment at this stage,” BSR franchising consultant, Patrick Tynan told Current.com.au this afternoon.

Several former members of Retravision NSW are also expected to attend a meeting on Tuesday in Sydney which is expected to involve an approach by Australia’s largest retailer, Woolworths, to develop a regional strategy for the Dick Smith Powerhouse brand. Woolworths has officially confirmed the meeting at this stage.

The only new store to open next week in New South Wales will be the new Campbelltown Betta Electrical store.

The only store rumoured to be changing hands and changing brands prior to Christmas is the former Betta Electrical superstore in Bunbury owned by Clive and Judy Berryman.

Just 12 months ago, the 950 square metre Berryman’s Betta Electrical and Gas became one of the flagship stores for the former BSL group which is grew to become a 1350 square metre Bunbury Betta Electrical Superstore.

The new owner of the store is expected to be the publicly-listed Narta member, Clive Peeters, which is likely to re-brand the store as Rick Hart.

A large number of Betta Electrical stores in Western Australia and South Australia are still weighing up their options regarding a move to Retravision WA. While there has been no official comment from either BSR or Retravision WA, regarding the move, suppliers are expected to find out one way or the other on 29 December.

This afternoon, New South Wales based Narta member, Bing Lee announced it will acquire the Bowral store previously trading as L’lectrec and owned by former Narta director Richard Luce. The 1100 square metre store trades over three levels and Bing Lee has announced that the main trading floor will expand from 517 square metres by an additional 406 square metres.

Bing Lee general manager, Phil Moujeas, said the store, which will become the group’s 32nd store was ideally placed with strong vehicle and pedestrian access.

“Bowral is the major town of the NSW southern highlands and offers a number of vital goods and services to the surrounding areas,” he said. “Bing Lee hope to ensure members of the community are provided with the best electrical and technology service available," Moujeas said.

This store will take the Bing Lee store numbers to five in the catchments area of ACT, Southern Highlands and South Coast.

This is the final Current.com.au daily newsletter for 2006. Thank you to all of the readers who have provided our team with valuable feedback since our launch earlier this year.

We look forward to returning early in the new year.

Merry Christmas

james@intermedia.com.au

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