By Matthew Henry
STRATHPINE, Queensland: Betta Electrical Strathpine will close its doors early next month and its owner, Rex Graham, will also rebrand his Chandlers Booval store as a Betta Electrical to lift its profile.
The Strathpine Betta Electrical, located in Westfield Shoppingtown in the northern Brisbane suburb of Strathpine, will cease trading on Saturday 7 July.
“In the general climate of electrical retailing it is difficult for electrical stores to be in shopping centres,” Graham Current.com.au today.
“It is a matter of the ratio of space and rent – you can only get a certain amount of space which is restrictive when you are trying display large flat panel and side-by-side refrigerators, and these are the types of products that are moving. Then the other side is that you are not display enough to be catering to people’s needs – if people are spending thousands of dollars they want to see a full range,” he said.
In recent months the Betta Stores Retail (BSR) group has suffered a spate of smaller stores closing their doors with a number of these proprietors ceding to the Buy-Rite Electrical group.
Gilgandra Betta Electrical owner, Gerard Freeth, recently told Current.com.au that being a sub-two million dollar business in the BSR group has become difficult. Freeth joined Buy-Rite, which caters specifically to smaller electrical retailers.
However, Graham today defended BSR and said that being a smaller footprint store was not a significant disadvantage to his business.
“Betta Electrical is certainly happy to talk to smaller retailers in the group and accommodate them as best the can, so they don’t have to leave just because they are a smaller store,” he said.
Graham will also rebrand his Chandlers Booval premises, located in Ipswich west of Brisbane, as a Betta Electrical store in early July, trading as Ipswich Betta Electrical.
The store is scheduled to switch over to the Betta Electrical group on 1 July, but may not be completely converted until mid-way through the month.
According to Graham, the Chandlers name is still strong but with just three Chandlers stores in the region it is not viable to invest in television or radio advertising.
“Betta Electrical has the wider spread of stores and more shopfronts in the area. It is sad in a way to leave the Chandlers name because it is a strong name, but for those other reasons it is necessary that we align ourselves with Betta,” said Graham.