By Patrick Avenell
Nick Fry, the former Retravision Southern buyer now working as the general manager of GAF Control, has offered an insight into what the company is preparing for rest of 2012. GAF Control currently distributes the Heller, Tiffany and Pye brands, amongst others, into the Australian market.
Fry joined GAF Control after the collapse of Retravision Southern during the midst of a turbulent period for the distributor. Shortly before Fry commenced his new role, GAF Control managing director Stuart Foley was forced to defend the company against damaging industry rumours. Furthermore, Harvey Norman’s decision to de-range GAF products has diminished the company’s retail presence.
“We had a situation in relation to Harvey Norman which has seen our brand support suffer in the recent past in their stores,” Fry said in his first interview since joining GAF Control. “In recent days, I have had some honest and open dialogue with key personnel at Harvey Norman and am hopeful of overcoming these issues in the near future and getting things back on track.”
When asked what GAF’s retail partners can expect in the vital months leading into Christmas, Fry was very upbeat.
“New products due in the coming months include an expansion of our microwave range, a few great additions to our whitegoods range, a new expanded range of Heller small appliances and the release of a new Pye audio range, as well as building on our market strengths in cooling in anticipation of what we hope is a long hot summer,” he said.
In response to the persistent negativity surrounding retail sales, Fry provided some much-needed optimism.
“Despite lagging consumer confidence, I am confident that Australian consumers, who’ve been busy over recent months paying down debt and saving money, are ready to spend if the offer is right, and I am confident in the belief that the GAF product line-up caters for their wants and needs.”
Fry said he will use his vast experience in both supplying and retailing appliances and consumer electronics to drive GAF Control to more sustained success.
“I come to this business with over 25 years experience in consumer electronics, at both retail with Myer and Retravision, and wholesale with Akai and TEAC, and I am determined to use my experience and industry knowledge to ensure the GAF business continues to survive and thrive, by working hand-in-hand with our trading partners to deliver sales and profitability through quality products and professional service.”