Bruised Retravision returns to Sydney market with six new stores

By James Wells

SYDNEY: After being run out of town following the collapse of its NSW business, with all stores migrating either north or south, Retravision has announced it will take on Harvey Norman, The Good Guys, Bing Lee and Clive Peeters with six new stores in Sydney.

Retravision CEO Keith Perkin told Current.com.au today that the new Retravision Southern group has plans to open six new stores in Sydney, including two stores in the metropolitan area in the coming weeks.

"The two stores we are looking at will certainly be in the metropolitan area," Perkin said.

"We know we have some white spots as a result of the [Retravision NSW migration] exercise and we have to infill," he said.

Retravision has made an ambitious claim that it will increase sales by 40 per cent over the next three years, but Perkin believes it is Sydney, not the booming Western Australian market that will deliver the growth.

"We have growth aspirations in Retravision Western, but the growth is likely to be evenly distributed across the country. There is going to be more growth out of Retravision Southern through the re-establishment of our presence in metropolitan Sydney which will be the key driver," Perkin said.

"Negotiations on the two stores are taking place as we speak and we cannot release details on the sites at this stage. Our plans are to open more than two stores, with a minimum of six over the next three years.

"We want to go into sites that offer the best return, but the problem is that real estate is incredibly difficult to find in the Sydney market."

Perkin told Current.com.au that he could not rule out an acquisition to drive growth in the Sydney market, which would be a sweet irony following the large number of stores that have migrated to Harvey Norman including the reinvigorated Joyce Mayne franchise. Among the Retravision NSW stores to defect to Harvey Norman and Joyce Mayne are two former state chairmen – Paul Murphy and Michael Doumani.

In the lead-up to Christmas last year, Retravision Vic-Tas operations manager, Brad Smith, told Current.com.au that the new Sunshine Superstore in Victoria would herald the first of a new wave of large, purpose-built outlets for Retravision.

Brian Kelly, former CEO of Retravision Vic-Tas and now CEO of Retravision Southern, headed up the launch of the huge 2,090 square metre premises, 1,490 square metres of which is retail floorspace.

“We needed a large store like this in order to range each product category effectively; we needed the floor space to display it,” said Smith in December.

“It’s a new generation Retravision store. We don’t have anything like it in our fleet.”

The new store includes bulkheads of varying heights and large customer walkways, which various Retravision store managers and proprietors from around Australia traveled to view, assumedly to gain insight in to the new direction for Retravision stores.

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