For new franchisees, head office management and existing members.

Betta Home Living has announced it will open a training centre in Brisbane and will represent the first of other training centres planned throughout the country.

The 1200 square metre training centre, located at Underwood in the south-east of Brisbane’s CBD, is scheduled to open before Christmas and will also operate as a standalone store.

According to Betta Home Living chief executive officer, Graeme Cunningham (pictured), the training centre will be used for new franchisees for induction purposes as well as head office management and existing members.

“This is the first training centre where will be helping to develop our staff in not just retail sales but management training as well as other areas of the business such as inventory management,” he said.

“The training centre will lift the level of professionalism within the business and will incorporate both furniture and electrical products. In terms of footprint, there are slightly more electrical products on the floor, but the ratio is roughly the same.

“Every key category will be presented with the best displays to represent the opportunities available and cooking will have a particular focus as a specialist category within the layout of the store.

“We have shown growth in all major categories, but cooking has been a particular standout. We will make sure that all of our major cooking brands are represented. We are looking to grow the number of stores currently involved in our cooking program which is now in place across 35 of our stores. To achieve this recognition these stores are able to commit to the required floorspace as well as a certain standard of display and staffing for that area.

“I have always believed that the group needed this training centre and there are plans to open more around the country with the aim to have at least one in each state over the next five years. We are looking at a number of business models for these centres, including 100 per cent owned by the franchisor or hybrid models with franchisees. We believe the hybrid model would be particularly appropriate in metropolitan areas where costs are often higher.

“We expect to have a soft opening of the training centre prior to Christmas with a formal launch in the new year. The Underwood site will be 100 per cent head office owned and managed and we are currently employing a store manager as well as the required sales and support staff.”

“We have talked to franchisees about this concept for the past 18 months and the reasons behind it. The Betta group is very different to when it started over a decade ago and we need to do this to improve at every level of the business. As new franchisees join our company, we need to provide an appropriate induction program. We also have a lot of great existing retailers who can benefit from training programs, sales strategies as well as modules in administration and management. Our suppliers are keen to support with product training and this is designed for them to use as well.”