By James Wells
ALICE SPRINGS: Retravision Western marketing manager, Craig Larkin, took an an unintentional swipe at Fremantle Dockers president and fellow WA electrical retailer, Rick Hart when he described his business as more like the West Coast Eagles rather than their arch rivals
Larkin made the observation by using the analogy that in the past his business has had a tendency to perform like the under-achieving perennial AFL bridesmaids in Western Australia – the Fremantle Dockers. However with projects like the new Large Format Store (LFS) pilot program, Retravision Western is performing more like the reigning AFL champions the West Coast Eagles and proving to suppliers and customers that they were competitive with the other teams in the electrical retailing competition.
“There are some analogies that can be drawn between West Coast Eagles and Retravision. The two businesses and brands have parallels – just like the Eagles we have a board of directors, managers and coaching staff through the state offices and our playing group is the stores. When a couple of individuals have moved out of the disciplined environment, it can have an impact on your brand.”
“We need to create an environment, where we are taking our brand to market, and create environment that gives consumer consistent message and delivery,’ Larkin said.
The president of the Fremantle Dockers is Western Australian electrical retailer, Rick Hart, who sold his business in $3.5 million cash and scip deal to Melbourne-based electrical retail group, Clive Peeters, prior to the company listing on the Australian Stock Exchange.
Hart, who remains managing director of the group, told WA Business News last month that the Rick Hart retailing brand will turn its focus to regional expansion in the next few years to capitalise on Western Australia’s booming economy which contributed to an increase in the group’s record first-half gross profit of almost 30 per cent.
He also said in the interview that once its parent company, Clive Peeters, had completed its transition into the Sydney market, there was a possibility that Rick Hart could open on the eastern seaboard, but there were no imminent plans.
Rick Hart currently has nine stores in Perth and Clive Peeters recently acquired the former Betta Electrical superstore at Bunbury which will reopen as a Rick Hart store and increase the number of regional stores for the brand to five.
“It gives us a footprint in that region and we are looking for other regional stores,” Mr Hart told WA Business News.
Refubishments are expected for the Rick Hart stores in Belmont and Victoria Park before 30 June and a redevelopment of Rick Hart Osborne Park store is expected n 2007-08. A purpose-built warehouse will be constructed by Clive Peeters in the next 18 months to replace the temporary warehouse in Welshpool which was opened last August to cope with stock following increased sales.