Narta welcomes ‘new’ members to $3 billion group

By James Wells

SAN FRANCISCO: Narta welcomed the arrival of the newly-created New Zealand subsidiary as well as several new members to the $3 billion consolidated trans-Tasman group.

In her address to delegates this morning, Narta managing director Kay Spencer outlined the key objectives for the group’s newly-created New Zealand operation, which will capitalise on its significant market share.

“In New Zealand our short-term objective is to fine-tune our operational procedures enabling us to maximise our 26 per cent market share. Effectively, a 26 per cent share gives us the same order book as our two largest competitors and a larger market share than Australia,” Spencer said.

“We will develop our category strength with more focus on top end AV and IT as well as developing the cooking category. We will work to give value to our suppliers and look for trans-Tasman efficiencies,” she said.

Narta chairman John Wipfli said the New Zealand office, which was opened two weeks ago and will be managed by business manager – Stephen Holmes, was an obvious opportunity for the buying group.

“We saw [Narta New Zealand] as a natural progression, and an opportunity for the group,  as one of our members, namely JB Hi-Fi, purchased Hill & Stewart in New Zealand and is now expanding into that market. I’m sure JB will not be the only Australian retailer crossing the Tasman.

“Narta has had a strategic alliance with Appliance Connection for the past eight years and we are now delighted, to have consolidated our relationship by Appliance Connection becoming members of Narta New Zealand.”

Wipfli also welcomed the new Narta retailers who have joined the group since the last conference in Maui in 2006 – Morrisons of Coffs Harbour, Soundy’s of Tamworth, Whitford’s of Five Dock in Sydney, Your Electrical Superstore in Albury Wodonga, Electrical Discounters based in Whyalla and Wills in Launceston.

“You can see from the locations of our new members’ businesses, Narta is now expanding into strong regional centres, which will enhance Narta’s national coverage, and give our supplier partners strong distribution alternatives in these areas,” Wipfli said.

Wipfli also recognised the appointment of two key staff in buying roles over the last 12 months – Gavin Carter as national AV manager and the recent appointment of former Sony executive, David Allen, who has joined as national digital technology manager.

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