By Sarah Falson
SUNSHINE: One of the largest Retravsion stores in Australia and the first of Retravision’s ‘new concept’ stores will open tomorrow in the outer Melbourne suburb of Sunshine.
According to Retravision Vic-Tas operations manager, Brad Smith, the new 2,090 square metre store is located at Shop 9 and 10, 133-137 Harvester Road in Sunshine, and will be open for business from 9.00am tomorrow. It is currently around 76 per cent full with stock, with more rolling in towards the end of the week, according to Smith.
“We needed a large store like this in order to range each product category effectively; we needed the floor space to display it,” Smith told Current.com.au.
“It is a bigger store in size, and it also has a bigger showroom, at 1,490 square metres, than all other Vic-Tas Retravision stores. The product categories in Retravision have grown and we now need quite a large amount of floor space for the communications department especially.
“We have 590 square metres devoted to communications and information products alone. The store represents a fairly large commitment to new age gear, but it also runs the normal whitegoods ranges, with about 150 to 200 square metres put aside for cooking, and a large AV, plasma and LCD display, too.”
Twenty-two staff members have been trained for the past two weeks to man the Sunshine store, with some boasting a history in the appliance retail industry. A small percentage of the staff are new to the industry, but they show “a lot of promise,” said Smith.
Last Thursday, Retravision Vic-Tas held an advertising launch to announce Retravision’s new store direction, but unfortunately none of the new Sunshine staff could attend as they were preparing for the opening of the store, Smith said.
Tomorrow’s launch will be attended by Smith, along with the rest of the Retravision Vic-Tas retail operations team, which includes Steve Moir and Nerida Little from head office.
“It’s a new generation Retravision store. We don’t have anything like it in our fleet,” said Smith.
“There are customer walkways that flow through the entire showroom – they go through the traditional Retravision section, through the technology sector and around through the home entertainment areas.
"There are also varying bulk-head heights and suspended ceilings, that make up for a very interesting store. We have utilised some new shop-fitting concepts.”
Smith told Current.com.au that during the past two weeks a number of Retravision store managers and proprietors have visited the Sunshine store for a “sneak peak” at the new design concept.
“It has had a high level of interest. Being a next generation Retravision shop, it is attracting a lot of interest from the industry,” said Smith.
The new operation will be headed up by owners Michael and Anne Maaser, the former of which told Current.com.au today that he has been an employee of Retravision for 23 years, with seven years managing McKnights Retravision and 10 years managing Elsworthy’s Retravision in Geelong before that.
“The shop is looking fantastic. There are a few minor bits and pieces still to be put in place, but it’s looking great,” he said.
The store has been advertised in a local Melbourne newspaper this week, which was distributed to 85,000 homes around Victoria, said Maaser. It will also be advertised on Melbourne radio station, Gold FM 104.3, from next week.
Of the Harvey Norman store around the corner, Maaser says it is larger in size than his new Retravision premises, but his electrical department is twice as large.
“Harveys does furniture too, which takes up a lot of floor space,” he said.
The Sunshine store will host a grand opening sale early in the new year, though there are “plenty of opening specials” currently being offered, according to Maasbr.
When Current.com.au asked how he expected the store to trade, Maaser answered: “This week will be reasonable. Next week will be absolute bedlam.”
The week leading up to Christmas will see the new Sunshine store offer extended trading hours.