By Martin Vedris

SYDNEY: BSR is getting on with business after the shock loss of seven jewels in the Betta electrical crown announced yesterday — they already have meetings booked with prospective retailers in the territories they just lost to the Clive Peeters group.

Yesterday Clive Peeters announced that it had acquired the seven Queensland stores from Ian Everards Betta Electrical, which was jointly owned by Ian Everard and Ian Murden. The seven stores had a combined annual turnover of $50 million.

“It’s got an immediate impact because those businesses held market shares in those territories that were well above average and I’m very proud of that and they’re very proud of the market share they held,” BSR general manager Ian Brown told Current today.

“Their sales in Bundaberg were well above those of Harvey Norman; that’s fairly rare. It’s the same with the Hervey Bay sales. So they’re enormously valuable territories to us and we’ve already had enquiries on those two particular territories.”

Brown indicated that his company aims to continue recruiting retailers in other states to the BSR group.

“We’re talking to new retailers in three other states as well, we’re looking towards bringing on some medium sized retailers because our goal is have to have retailers that are of the size where they can maintain their own individual accounts with the suppliers. And our plan to encourage our retailers to improve their stores to superstore level is continuing.

“Although when we do that it attracts the attention of organisations like Clive Peeters because they love the way we do it!

“We just finished a superstore in Western Australia and they bought that one. Then we did the one in Mornington in southern Victoria and they bought that one and now obviously they were impressed again with what we’ve done.”

Clive Peeters opened their Bunbury store in western Australia in March this year and according to a recent statement regarding their FY07 Results, the group plans to open a further two stores in Queensland and one in Victoria in 2008. The company also hinted at additional acquisition opportunities in the statement:

“We will continue to be selective. Businesses in locations that suit, with the right size store footprint, are still on our radar. All States are now in play.”

Ian Brown said he was pleased for Johnson and Murden.

“We’re very happy for Ian and Everard as they have worked very hard and they have been 110 per cent supporters of the Betta Electrical and Chandlers brands. They both deserve a good, lengthy and easy retirement, when that comes around,” Brown added.

“When you’ve built an empire like they’ve built — seven stores over a length of time — opportunities like this don’t just come along every day and the opportunity came along and they took it.

“As a group, we were extremely supportive because Everard Johnson and Ian Murden, along with Garry Thyer and Dominic McClelland, were the instigators of the original consortium that put BSR in place, and that will never be forgotten.”