By Matthew Henry
BRISBANE: Another small format Betta Stores Retail (BSR) retailer has left the group – this time Gilgandra Betta Electrical in country New South Wales, which has joined Abdul Sacur’s growing Bi-Rite Electrical group – a member of Narta.
The owner of the former Gilgandra Betta Electrical store, Gerard Freeth, said being a sub-two million dollar business in the BSR group has become difficult – a reality the BSR group has itself recently acknowledged.
“It is actually when Betta went under that we started to look but we thought the BSR scenario would have been good. But the way things started to pan out – it is not really for a small store,” said Freeth.
“The biggest problem was that we didn’t have central accounting so we couldn’t get a lot of accounts. Where we’ve moved to has allowed us access to those accounts and opened lots more doors for us.”
According to Freeth, Bi-Rite Electrical has been a very attentive group since he joined and has offered good support for his business.
“There’s been very good service since I have been there and the computer system is very user friendly and easy,” he said.
Now trading as Bi-Rite Electrical Gilgandra , Freeth said the store will be updated with new signage but otherwise it is business as usual.
However, the Bi-Rite Electrical buying group offers access to new suppliers so the store’s product mix is likely to be updated in the coming months.
“A rep from one supplier came around here yesterday and this brand didn’t deal with Betta, but they have an account with Bi-Rite and Narta with this particular brand. I turned around and bought off him straight away because it is a household name, which makes my job a lot easier,” said Freeth.
One strength of the Bi-Rite Electrical model is that in accumulating a critical mass of smaller stores the group builds collective buying power, but is also less exposed to the impact of a large store going to the wall.
“If you’ve got a big store and it falls over, you’ve got a big hole to fill for your buying power and turnover. [With Bi-Rite] you can handle fluctuations a lot better,” said Freeth.