Bega Betta Home Living bucks flat retail trend

Boost in foot traffic.

Bega Betta Home Living, 500km south of Sydney, and 30km from the nearest electrical appliance store, has seen an uplift in foot traffic of approximately 10 per cent since becoming the only authorised Apple reseller and service provider in town, according to co-owner Brendan Buckley.

In 2014, the store became an authorised stockist of Jaycar products and was named Jaycar Stockist of the Year in NSW last year. In 2015, Bega Betta Home Living also became a Weber barbecue specialist dealer.

“We invest in local TV and radio advertising in conjunction with other Betta stores from Ulladulla (200km north), Batemans Bay and Narooma with supplier focused activity. We also promote our involvement with Apple, Jaycar and Weber,” Buckley said.

Bega Betta Home Living co-owners, Brendan Buckley and Shane George

Although the Bega community only has a population of around 6,000 people, the Betta Home Living store measures 800 square metres and employs 12 full-time and part-time staff. One staff member, Di O’Loglin has been with the business for 18 years and another, Margi DeCosta, has been working at the store for five years but has worked at various electrical stores in the area for over 40 years.

As part of the ‘Your Betta Cooking Specialist’ program, cooking appliances take a major share of the store with whitegoods occupying around one third of the floor space. “Our most popular brands are Beko, Electrolux, Fisher & Paykel, LG and Miele. We have seen increased interest in bottom mount and French Door refrigeration, pyrolytic ovens, induction cooktops and silent rangehoods from Schweigen,” Buckley said.

He believes the key to running a successful retail business is giving customers what they want. “This includes a nice, clean and inviting store, knowledgeable staff and the right products at competitive prices. We always ensure the customer is happy with our service from the time they enter the store to when their appliance is delivered and installed, and beyond.”

Although online sales have not taken off for Bega Betta Home Living, accounting for less than 2 per cent of total retail sales, Buckley has noticed a shift in shopping behaviour as online retail gains traction. “Consumers have a lot more product knowledge now and are very aware of pricing. They are not willing to wait as long to get the product they are after because they know they can get it elsewhere,” he said.

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