By James Wells and Patrick Avenell
The repercussions from Retravision Southern’s voluntary administration are now being felt across the ‘business as usual’ WA and Northern groups, with several major suppliers placing the two groups on hold.
Internal Retravision emails seen by Current.com.au and verified by WA CEO Paul Holt show that Sony Australia, Electrolux and Whirlpool have placed the entire Retravision network into ‘account on hold’ mode, while Samsung Electronics Australia has returned to normal trading after a short period on hold.
In addition to these large suppliers placing ‘account on hold’ notices on Retravision, Holt wrote to members last night informing them that, “a few other smaller suppliers that we have similar circumstances with and we will get into dialogue with these as soon as we are possibly able to”.
The following is an excerpt from an email sent by Holt to members last night (22 May 2012):
“At this time the key suppliers that have placed these ‘account on hold’ notifications are Electrolux, Whirlpool, Sony and Samsung. Samsung has just advised that our account will be reopened by tomorrow morning. We will continue to advance discussions with the other suppliers as quickly as possible.”
Holt confirmed to Current.com.au that Samsung “competed their review last night and [Retravision is] trading normally with them from today”.
In a separate communication with Current.com.au, Holt said Retravision WA and Retravision Northern had been unable to move quickly enough following Southern's move into administration to reassure suppliers of their secure trading position. He said the future for an amalgamated Retravision was very strong.
“Clearly, what happened on Monday with Retravision Southern was a very nasty surprise to suppliers and credit insurers. Given the speed with which an administrator was appointed, we were unable to be on the font foot to explain what happened and why it happened and, to that end, we have clearly rattled confidence with our trading partners.
“We are working hard with everyone concerned to ensure that the performance of the remaining business is available for review and credit insurers are taking a moment now to assess credit limits in order to ensure that future trading can be restored as quickly as possible. Ideally, this would have been better managed in advance of any appointment but that was just not possible.
“We cannot escape the fact that retail trade across the country is very tough at present, our sector is seen as challenging and the relatively recent demise of Clive Peeters and WOW has unnerved the confidence of everyone connected with our industry.
“Suppliers know our business well from years of experience in doing business with us. They know that there are very significant numbers of really solid stores across the country with strong potential for future success.
“We are confident that the work we are doing to amalgamate the Western and Northern regions and the migration of Southern stores across to that much lower cost platform provides a compelling argument to continue to support us and the overwhelming feedback we have had from the vast majority of suppliers is to get on with business as quickly as possible as soon as there is an improved understanding of our revised plans.
“Our vision to create a low cost, single source of control for the Retravision group has taken a knock this week. But, with 70 Southern stores indicating their intention to migrate across to the platform we are building in Perth, we are still capable and committed to delivering a strong unified outcome for all the Retravision store owners involved.”