By Claire Reilly

After months of speculation and weeks of talks, Retravision has announced that the company’s Southern, Northern and Western branches will be merging to form a national supergroup.

Earlier in the month, reported that both Retravision Southern and Northern were in talks to merge, but that the Western branch had until then been absent from discussions. However, Retravision Western CEO Paul Holt has confirmed that a merger between all three regional branches has taken place. Holt will head up the national group as CEO, while the Retravision Southern director and Victorian store proprietor Ian Ray will take on the role of national chairman.

The news of the merger was shared with stores and suppliers yesterday, after the final deal was struck.

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With a national network of 289 stores, Retravision will now have increased buying power to rival some of the larger alliances such as Narta and the Derni Group (which comprises Harvey Norman, Domayne and Joyce Mayne).

However, unlike these buying groups which represent multiple retailers, the new Retravision group will have a single brand focus and will operate under a unified management structure. This will certainly be appealing to suppliers, who will only need to negotiate with the one entity to see their products rolled out nationally.

The merger comes just one month after Retravision Southern CEO, Tim Cockayne, resigned from his position. Before his resignation, Cockayne had worked on a new website for the retail chain, as well as a rebranding that was aimed at unifying stores with consistent store layouts and livery. It was also speculated that Cockayne would have made a strong candidate for the position of CEO of a merged East Coast Retravision group.

Tim Cockayne was unavailable for comment on the news this morning.