By Martin Vedris
MELBOURNE: Retravision Southern’s CEO, Tim Cockayne, today confirmed the sale of the company’s Ringwood store, the third of five former McKnights Retravision outlets that were originally acquired by Retravision Southern in March 2007 to prevent the shop fronts from potentially falling into the hands of competitors.
The Ringwood store was purchased by Greg and Danny Scanlon, the current owners of the Brighton and Clayton Retravision stores.
This latest sale leaves two former McKnights Retravision stores yet to be sold — Mentone and Epping. The Moorabbin store was sold in June this year and the Water Gardens store in Taylors Lakes was sold in July.
“Of the two remaining McKnights stores, we are in negotiations in regards to the sale of them as well,” Cockayne told Current.com.au today.
“The Ringwood Retravision store is generally known as a flagship Retravision store in the Melbourne area,” he continued. “Selling it is in line with the company’s plan to sell the company stores but also retain them in the Retravision network — Greg and Danny are very successful owner operators.”
Retravision Southern originally set up a special business called Retravision Retail to run the stores, but Cockayne said that running retail stores was not part of Retravision Southern’s future long term strategy.
“We’re in a good position now going forward,” he said. “We’ve stripped a lot of costs out of the business and moving the company owned stores on has been a major goal so we can concentrate on our core business.
“Owning company stores requires a certain set of infrastructure, the right systems and processes, the right people and the right departments within your organisation to oversee the stores and if you’re not set up for that it can be difficult to run them.”
Cockayne explained why owner-operated stores perform better.
“In this industry, an owner operator would get around an extra 15 to 20 per cent in sales and an extra two points in margin and that’s the reality,” he said. “It’s their business and their drive and it is the little things that make a difference.
“Store managers tend to work the hours they’re paid for but if you’re the owner, you’ll come in early to do things like unpacking the stock or re-ticketing and at the end of the day you won’t reconcile the tills at 4.30 to get out by five. And if there are people in the store you service them first and then reconcile the tills.
“These things all make a difference and people operate in a different way when it’s their business is on the line.”
Cockayne said he was looking forward to reprioritising his company’s focus.
“After the McKnights sales … we look forward to being able to put all our resources into our member-owned stores.”