The owners of Taylor’s Betta Home Living in Cessnock, NSW, have announced that they will shut up shop next month, closing the book on a retail enterprise with 85 years of history.
Ian Taylor, who runs the Betta store along with his mother Gloria, have made the difficult decision to close the business that Ian’s grandfather began in his home in 1927. The store was officially registered as Taylor’s Electrical in 1964 and became a Retravision when it moved to new premises in 1971, when Ian Taylor was just 15 months old.
While the store has had a long history, Ian Taylor said it was no longer economically viable to keep pouring money into the business.
“The decision was made for economic reasons,” he said. “The way the market is at the moment and with the way Retravision went, we lost too much money. And the retail game itself, it’s just down in incredible amounts.”
Taylor said the business had suffered considerably with the collapse of Retravision NSW and, later, Retravision Southern. Despite the family’s move to the Betta stable following discussions with Betta Home Living CEO Graeme Cunningham last year, the store was not able to recoup its losses.
“When we came across to Betta, we worked out that we weren’t on the best price with Retravision, so we were sort of out of the ball park,” he said. “When you’re matching prices with Harveys and everybody, your profit’s nowhere near what it should be.
“I don’t think we were on the best pricing system with Retravision through the suppliers, perhaps because of NSW going under and the suppliers being wary of Retravision—which turned out to be just.
“So for the last two years, we’ve basically been running at a loss and we’re just not going to put any more money in out of our own pockets anymore.”
While some of the store’s staff have already left following the decision to shut up shop, Ian and his remaining team will stay open to hold a closing down sale. Ian said he hoped to have everything finalised by mid-February, and the prospect of a potential new tenant for the shopfront had put his mind at ease that the business could be completely wrapped up.
While Taylor was disappointed about the decline in business—brought about to some extent by the encroaching presence of chain stores such as Masters, which has opened in nearby Rutherford—he said he had many things to be thankful for over his years in the trade.
“The positives were the amount of people you got to meet,” he said. “We’ve made a lot of friends in the industry over the time.”