Betta Electrical Mount Gambier defects to Retravision

By James Wells

MOUNT GAMBIER: Mount Gambier Betta Electrical has left its buying group after 17 and a half years to join Retravision Western after a deal was done to close an existing corporate store in the South Australian town, thereby eliminating a competitor.

The former proprietor of Betta Electrical Mount Gambier, Rick Macera told Current.com.au that he re-opened his 800 square foot store at Commercial Street East as Retravision on Monday morning.

“We haven’t moved – we have just changed from Betta Electrical to a Retravision corporate look store, but the difference is that I own it,” Macera told Current.com.au.

“There was an offer made to join the group which involved eradicating a corporate store and in return we have taken on that store’s staff, its stock and the customer base.”

Macera said his store is located in a town of 24,000 people that takes advantage of a local timber crayfishing and dairy industries that service a wider community of 70,000 people.

“There is a high density of retailers in this area – we have a Harvey Norman, a Radio Rentals, a Kmart, a Target and there is also a second Retravision store.”

Macera said the move is a best of both worlds, as it provides his store with one less competitor in the town and it provides a solution for Retravision Western which is better placed as a service provider for its members, but who previously owned the corporate store – following the Savery’s acquisition.

“We were quite limited with Betta Stores since the receivership and some of the suppliers have had a hard look at individual retailers. We have not lost any suppliers, but obviously the Retravision model allows us to trade with more suppliers which is favourable for us – I am quite excited about that. We have doubled our staff and doubled our inventory but we will offset this in time,” he said.

“I am saddened that I am leaving a group that where I have associated with a lot of friends. However with the changes in the industry, we have had to move on very quickly in order to go to the next level and this is what we have tried to do.

“With the offer that we received, it would have been silly not to take it and it is a step up for us,” Macera said.

“The Mount Gambier scenario was an outcome of our strategy to continue to convert managed stores into owner operator stores as quickly as possible,” said Retravision Western chief executive officer, Paul Holt.

“Mount Gambier provided a great opportunity to close our managed store there and merge the business into an existing Betta Electrical business and then re-badge this to Retravision. This will create a stronger, more profitable entity for the longer term to everyone’s benefit.

“It also continues our drive towards attracting as many strong and viable independent operators on to a single operating platform, which I believe is a desired outcome by all of the suppliers I have spoken to recently and makes good business sense to all concerned in the supply chain, particularly in regional towns.

After securing a number of former Betta Electrical retailers under its Best Buy Electrical banner, Holt says he plans to

“We will continue to take these kinds of opportunities wherever we can in order to grow volume, rationalize our store network and optimise performance. Watch this space.”

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