Major supplier admits suffering from Clive Peeters collapse

By Patrick Avenell

SYDNEY, NSW: The collapse of Clive Peeters exposed Hagemeyer, one of Australia’s largest wholesalers, to both financial and intangible losses, with the supplier’s De Dietrich brand heavily invested in the failed retailer.

New Hagemeyer CEO Mark Bilton confirmed to Current.com.au that Clive Peeters had purchased De Dietrich stock on credit. Subsequent to Clive Peeters being placed in administration on 19 May 2010, Hagemeyer has had to file insurance claims to recoup lost moneys.

Despite this exposure, Hagemeyer continues to strengthen under Bilton’s stewardship, with the Omega, Smeg and Altise brands all performing extremely well in stores. In addition, the Blanco brand is currently celebrating its 30-year anniversary in the Australian market.

The purchasing of insurance for this stock was only secured recently, with Bilton displaying sagacity in his decision to take up this option. He also noted that the purchasing of 32 Clive Peeters stores by the Harvey Norman group was beneficial for Hagemeyer.

“Clive Peeters was a major customer of ours, particularly for De Dietrich,” Bilton said. “The fact that Harvey Norman has bough that is quite good for us.”

Hagemeyer had worked closely with the Clive Peeters group to establish the De Dietrich brand in the Australian marketplace. Bilton confirmed that he was now speaking to other retailers about stocking the premium French appliance brand.

“We’d worked with Clive Peeters to establish that brand: they’d had it for three years … it’s improved the brand.”

“There was good exposure through there, there were good sales through there, but we did have that exposure.

“It’s more about, where does that brand go from here?”

Looking forward, Bilton is happy with his current retailer partnerships, saying that these relationships are the key to successful business.

“Wholesalers need retailers, we like to think retailers need wholesalers, those partnerships will endure, the decision where to place your product is key.”

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