By James Wells
TAMWORTH: Soundys has revealed that the decision was made to join Narta after discussions were held with two existing members of the group that also left Retravision in New South Wales.
Soundys director, Stephen Carter, told Current.com.au that discussions with Narta members who have also left Retravision in New South Wales – Morrison’s of Coffs Harbour and Whitford’s of Five Dock helped clarify the decision to switch groups.
“Basically the further we went down the track, the less content we were about staying with Retravision,” Carter said.
“Speaking to other Retravision dealers who went to Narta including Morrison’s of Coffs Harbour and Whitford’s of Five Dock – it gave us an insight into the other side of the fence.
“Narta gives us control of our own destiny. We are not obliged to take on the direction of head office and it provides us with better profitability. A fair bit of our business has been done outside of Retravision anyway with specialist cooking and premium hi-fi.
Carter said he is also excited about having the opportunity to sell more brands.
“We will pick up LG, assuming that they open the account,” he said.
“At the end of the day, we have to maintain profitability and successful business and this gives us a better chance – the other retailers in our area have no choice [but to stay with a group like Retravision]. Particular locations have a future and we have three small stores. Stores within Retravision or Betta in regional location and even in big locations or those within a niche market will always have the opportunity to maintain successful business.
“In major markets smaller footprints stores will always suffer unless they have a niche market. Within Sydney stores can survive in locations because they have local clientele, they will continue to shop with them. In our market, selling quality product, high service levels, we had that niche in town. Our opposition in town sell on price, they don’t sell on service. Our staff participate in a lot of training and undertake a lot of product knowledge.
There are 24 staff in the Soundys Tamworth store, with three staff members at both Quirindi while both the Manilla and Berraba stores have two staff each.
Soundys, which was originally called Sound Components, has been part of the Retravision group for the last 14 years.
“The business before us was a hi-fi store called Sound Components, but everyone called it Soundys. Our ex-partner, Barry Smith, changed it to an electrical store,” Carter said.
The store was branded Worldwide Appliances from 1999 to 2003 under a naming rights deal with Alan Williams who ran the Worldwide Appliances store in the Retravision group at the time. The naming rights agreement ended when Williams joined the Narta group and the business reverted back to Soundys Retravision once again.
“Most people are quite happy, we could have gone down that path and survived for another five years. When we reached the crossroads, we were still under a temporary licensing agreement. When the paperwork turned up for us to become permanent members of Retravision Northern, we had a look at Narta and decided that this is the way we want to go. We had the chance to change paths, so we did.
“Retravision Northern were very supportive including CEO Phil Scarff, who despite being very disappointed wished us the best. Retravision is a very good operation and we still have a lot of friends from Retravision, but at the end of the day, we chose another path.”