Leading Edge forms new Appliance Group to house Retravision migrants

By James Wells

Leading Edge managing director, Tony Middlebrook, has announced that his $320 million buying group is creating a newly formed Appliance Group to accommodate the new Retravision stores.

"We will be contacting the current Retravision members in the near future to advise them of our offer and commitment to them," Middlebrook said today.

"The store owners will be offered the opportunity to join the newly formed Appliance Group, headed up by Michael Carr and operating within Leading Edge. Membership will be based on a rollover of the existing Retravision arrangements for IT, marketing and supplier negotiation support."

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Middlebrook has confirmed Leading Edge currently turns over $320 million annually from 1,200 stores averaging approximately $267,000 from each shopfront. Of these 1,200 stores, a third of stores are in the electronics, IT and telecommunications markets.

"Leading Edge is pleased to be working with Narta and Retravision to provide the stores that will be exiting the Retravision brand with a strong service offering.  We are passionate about supporting independent retailers," Middlebrook said today.

"The offering is designed to include continuity of software supply and an enhancement of the supplier/store relationships and terms, marketing support for the stores," he said.

"Leading Edge creates a community of independent retailers and works with them in a co-operative manner to achieve much more together than any of us could achieve by ourselves.

"Leading Edge's current member base is in excess of 1,200 (approximately 400 in electronics, IT and telecommunications alone), and currently turns over $320 million per annum. Product diversity and geographical spread places it well to provide the level of expertise required to support the exiting Retravision stores."

A recent audit conducted by Current.com.au using the stores on the Leading Edge website found there are 38 Leading Edge Electronics stores with 14 stores trading in New South Wales, nine stores in Victoria, 10 stores in Queensland, 1 store in South Australia, 1 store in Tasmania and 3 stores in Western Australia.
There does not appear to be any members in either the ACT or the Northern Territory.

Leading Edge Electronics claims to offer a wide range of products for members to purchase including computers and accessories, digital imaging, home entertainment, electronics, phones, faxes, mobile phones, electronic toys and learning aids for children.

Leading Edge represents a broad range of buying including Computers, Jewellery, Golf Products, Video, Books, Music and Telecommunications.

Leading Edge Appliance Group could grow to over 100 stores with the majority of stores turning over under $1.5 million annually.

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