By James Wells
MELBOURNE: The addition of Ted’s Cameras to the Narta group just two months ago has already provided benefits to both parties with improved product planning and range expansion for the retailer and over $70 million in additional purchases for the buying group.
Ted’s Cameras managing director Richard Robertson believes the decision to join the Narta buying group in early October has already added value to his operation by obtaining operational efficiencies alongside other members – Bing Lee, JB Hi-Fi and Downtown Duty Free.
“It’s still very early days – the benefits are long term as all Christmas buying was in train by the time we were accepted into the group. Narta provides benefits both financially as well as with our range in addition to the information we can obtain and the help with planning,” Robertson said.
Robertson is expanding his IT range with new small laptops which are applicable to photo imaging clients, but he admits that expanding product portfolios will only occur where applicable.
“We don’t see ourselves as a JB Hi-Fi and we’re not going to wake up in the morning and think we can stock gaming. The main thing needs to be the main thing and this has fared us well over the last 38 years,” he said.
“The feedback from both suppliers and members is that Ted’s adds balance to our group,” said Narta managing director, Kay Spencer.
“Digital imaging and SLR in particular is one of the areas where we needed to strengthen the business and Ted’s gives us more impact in the AV/IT category as they also carry some computer lines.
“This adds about $70 million in purchasing for us and with a focus at the mid to top end it will provide Narta with the strength to do more planning with suppliers and deliver further efficiencies.
“They are a one order book operation and they suit our profile based on the fact they have the speed to market.”
Ted’s Cameras operates 22 stores in Australia – 11 in Victoria, three stores in Queensland, New South Wales and Canberra as well as two stores in South Australia.
A 38-year veteran of the business, Robertson started with the business in early 1971 on the sales floor after managing stores at Footscray in Melbourne and later the city store, he was promoted to sales manager and general manager in the early 1980s.