Exclusive by Patrick Avenell

The proprietor of a small town Retravision store has spoken out about the way some large retail groups operate in regional and rural areas of Australia. He thinks they should tough it out like the little guy has to, rather than barging in when times are good and packing up as soon as things go bad.

“We have an electrical business in the main street of a country town and we will shed jobs at an absolute last resort to pay the bills.” said Steve Lestone of Zapp Retravision in Charters Towers, northern Queensland. “The reason being, we support the town that supports us.”

Lestone feels that the small town operator is the biggest victim of the economic crisis, as they struggle to remain solvent, whilst also running a business that is socially responsible and community minded. He feels that too many of the franchised or centrally owned groups are happy to make a quick buck, but reluctant to support the area when it is most needed.

“For the big retail groups, when things are tough, they just shut the doors and move out of town: everybody redundant.

“They relentlessly roll out stores for the growth factor and then close the ones that are not performing, leaving behind the existing retailers who have had to endure million dollar advertising schedules and aggressive price cutting campaigns.”

Do you have something to say about this? Send me an email.