Exclusive by Patrick Avenell
After publishing the thoughts and concerns of several Retravision store owners and managers last week, Current.com.au has been overwhelmed with correspondence from other proprietors, each eager to give their views on the current trends and issues in the consumer electronics retail sector.
One of these is Junee Retravision proprietor Glenn Harbrow, who believes unnecessary advertising and margin reduction are hurting all retailers in the industry, not just Retravision stores.
“Steve from Charters Towers has hit the nail on the head,” said Harbrow. “We are from a very small town where Retravision has supported generations of locals, but we are now under threat because of companies…killing us with advertising and discounting when there is no need. If [these companies] believe that customer have been ripped off for years, they are deluded.”
When asked what can be done to improve this retail sector as a whole, Harbrow did not hold back.
“I believe that the industry needs to become more active in stopping the erosion of margin.
“The big…discounters are still (or were still) making profit…but to what end? Now [they are] crying poor because turnover is down and margin is down and [they are] feeling the pressure. Try doing this day in day out even in the good times trying to compete with these clowns.
“They will close stores now leaving not only the immediate community without support but the wider community as well.”
Finally, Harbrow spared some of his ire for the media, who he says treat Retravision stores like a punching bag.
“Retravision has had a pretty ordinary run in the media and industry-related magazines of late, they seem to revel in each store’s demise, while the big boys get all the raps and backslaps.
“If you got a cross section of the consumers, maybe only in the rural areas, and asked them who they dealt with and why I would be very surprised if the names Harvey Norman or the Good Guys came up very often.”
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