Leading Appliances reports strong start, new members coming

The youngest retail group in the Australian appliance industry, Leading Appliances, has had an encouraging first six months of trading and is expecting solid growth during the Christmas trading period, according to head of product and marketing Nicholas Fry.

Although Fry admitted to some “minor teething problems” he said members were delighted with the progress the new group had made and that Leading Appliances was set to announce new members to the group.

“While the conditions of retail in general, and small independent retail in particular, remain challenging, we’ve been very pleased with our performance over the first six months,” Fry said. “All of our key performance indicators have been met, in terms of providing our 60-plus foundation members with strong administration and marketing support to ensure they’ve been able to make the transition across to Leading Appliances as seamlessly and trouble-free as possible.”

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Leading Appliances was formed in April from the former members of Retravision that were not invited to join or were otherwise unable to join Narta members, such as Bi-Rite and Betta Stores Retail. Nationally, the Retravision brand was sold to Narta several months after Retravision Southern collapsed.

“There have naturally been some minor teething issues along the journey, as you’d expect with the exercise of pulling together a significant business of this size in such a short time frame, but essentially it’s been a trouble-free journey so far, much to the delight of our members,” continued Fry.

“We have now produced six catalogues to the market and have reported month-on-month sales growth across our group since April. It’s been a pleasing result given the short lead time we had in order to get all the behind-the-scenes functions and facilities in place, such as our computer POS system, our corporate identity, trading agreements with 35-plus suppliers and the appointment of our graphic design company.

“Our members have reported an increase in bottom line profitability as a result of our low-cost structure and responsible pricing policy. We’ve been determined to differentiate ourselves in the wider market, with a genuine focus on our local identity, our people and our service.”

Fry said Leading Appliances would soon launch a new website and that new members would be joining the group before what he predicted would be a bumper Christmas.

“We are about to launch our new state-of-the-art website and we will soon announce some new members to our group,” he said. “We have some very exciting marketing initiatives for November and December designed to drive customers into our stores in the lead up to Christmas.

“It’s a very exciting phase in our development as we approach the vitally important November to January period in the evolution, growth and consolidation of Leading Appliances.”

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