BSR and Retravision still at ends over independent retail market

By Ian Neubauer

SYDNEY: The closure of a small Western Australian appliance store has shed light on the growth strategies and simmering tension between retail chain BSR and its offshoot rival, Best Buy Electrical, a sub-brand of the Retravision group.

Best Buy Electrical Albany director, Wayne Graham, announced the closure of his business in an October 19 letter addressed to ‘Appliance Retailer’ magazine, Current.com.au’s sister publication.

Repeated attempts to contact Graham this week were unsuccessful. However, Retravision CEO Paul Holt said Graham had retired for health reasons and his business would be transferred to Retravision Albany.

Holt confirmed no other stores had left Retravision since its last coup de’etat — the adding of the $30 million Truscotts group in April to its then-growing stable of retailers.

At the time, Holt told Cuurent.com.au he anticipated to bring in “another $20 million of fully secured new business into our group in the next few months.”

But this week Holt said only one new retailer has joined the group in the past six months and that Retravision never talked about targeting additional stores.

“In fairness we have made no efforts to attempt to attract new stores since we started 12 months ago,” Holt said. “And we decided very quickly not to pursue further stores because half of them could not meet our financial requirements. With what we understand about BSR with members jumping ship there may be another method to attract new business. We have plans to open a number of new stores in WA and SA.”

But BSR general manager Ian Brown said his group is 30 to 40 days away from announcing the launch of four new large-format stores across two states.

“We open new stores, we don’t go about poaching them from others,” Brown said. “We open and design stores in consultation with franchisees so our growth is real growth.”

But Holt insisted BSR’s days were numbered.

“There is room only for one independent operator [of appliance retailers] in Australia and that is going to be Retravision or a related brand,” he said. “All our brands are available for other independents to consider. We are here and growing our business and if people want to speak to me about an opportunity, they have my number.”

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