Narta announces expansion into New Zealand

By James Wells

SYDNEY: Australian electrical retailing buying group, NARTA (National Associated Retail Traders Australia) today confirmed it will establish operations in New Zealand following the JB Hi-Fi acquisition of Hill and Stewart’s New Zealand operations.

Narta managing director, Kay Spencer, said the initial members of Narta New Zealand Limited will be JB Hi-Fi, Hill and Stewart, leading New Zealand cooking specialist Autel and the largest South Island electrical retailer – Smith City.

“We will represent a significant 27 per cent of the New Zealand retail market, which is a larger share than Narta Australia,” said Spencer.

“Our primary aim will be to provide New Zealand Limited members with additional profit opportunities. Together we represent a big and legitimate alternative to the likes of the other two main competitors in New Zealand."

Those two major competitors now control around 50 per cent of the New Zealand market, however Narta New Zealand Limited will offer independent retailers and suppliers a real alternative to the potential dominance of those two competitors.

The first members meeting of Narta New Zealand Limited was held on Tuesday 31 July 2007 in Auckland, where the board of directors were elected and it was announced that Narta Australia chairman, John Wipfli, will chair the NZ board. Joining Wipfli as directors on the board of Narta New Zealand will be Narta International managing director – Kay Spencer, Hill & Stewart’s Nigel Merrett, Smith City’s Richard Hellings and Appliance Connexion’s Peter Drummond.

Narta has appointed Stephen Holmes, formerly of Fisher & Paykel and Panasonic, as the Narta New Zealand Limited business development manager operating out of Auckland, while Kay Spencer will assume managing director responsibilities for both Narta Australia and Narta New Zealand Limited.

Michael Jackson will work with Holmes to coordinate buying and Craig Mackie will manager the overall operations.

The combined group will account for approximately $3 billion of the total Australasian market.

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