By James Wells

PENRITH: George Rabie’s Little & Rabie Retravision, located in the western Sydney suburb of Penrith, returned to the Betta Electrical brand today after 16 years, strengthening the retail base for the new Betta Stores Retail (BSR) franchise business.

Former Retravision NSW director and Little & Rabie store owner, George Rabie, signed licensing agreement documents at his Penrith store with Betta Stores Retail franchise consultant, Patrick Tynan, shortly after 1.00pm this afternoon.

The store, which has traded for a total of 32 years, previously traded as Little & Rabie Retravision and will now trade as Little & Rabie Betta Electrical with signage expected to be erected within a week.

“I’m looking forward to moving on in life and I’m looking forward to a better arrangement for my business,” Rabie told this afternoon.

“BSR is offering us a lot more opportunities as well as values and unity," he said.

“My staff have been magnificent – they have been working closely with us and continue to be committed to the job and committed to our customers. The Little & Rabie business around Penrith continues to enjoy a good customer base and we have not received any negative feedback. Our customers are happy to see the change and we are very pleased that we will give them the service that they are used to.”

Rabie said he has been restricted from obtaining stock from Retravision since March and has managed to cope well following strong assistance from suppliers.

“We have coped pretty well due to several suppliers who have been fantastic and good to us. Some suppliers have restrictions and that has made it a bit difficult, but it hasn’t affected us from doing business and our customers have not noticed the difference.

“A lot of suppliers have been very good to us and they know who they are. I would like to thank them immensely for their support and this will be reflected in orders henceforward and we will maintain a good relationship in years to come,” Rabie said.

“Our message to all suppliers is that we are still holding market share in Penrith. We are still a force in the town with a strong customer base and support. The suppliers will either want to be on board to maintain success or not, it is something they will have to call.

“BSR is a little bit more focused on the supplier base and is not fragmented with an attitude of being everything to everyone – BSR is something to someone. We are looking forward to working with new suppliers and will welcome them with open arms.

"BSR allows independent retailers individuality. It is focused on making retailers profitable without clipping the ticket on the way through.

“We have only been in Retravision for 16 years. Before that we were with Betta Electrical and I was one of the first Betta Stores members in New South Wales. We started Betta Stores in New South Wales when the group only existed in Queensland and it broke away from the UBA buying group.

“At that time, some of the regional stores in the state broke away and we made Betta Stores a strong banner in New South Wales. This was around the time that Retravision was having difficulties in the 1980s when they lost Bing Lee and were forced to undertake a recruitment drive. Betta then started having similar problems in the late 1980s and early 1990s and lost a few members and we went to Retravision,” Rabie said.

“The wheel has taken a full 180-degree turn with Retravision now having its troubles. It is a circle of life – revolving and evolving.”