Exclusive by Patrick Avenell

BRISBANE: Freeview CEO Robin Parkes has revealed that there was a lot of negativity from retailers when she first spoke with them about the Freeview concept. Having met with the retail groups’ head offices and Narta, she says it’s a very different atmosphere.

“There was negativity in the beginning because there was a lack of information and confusion and in the beginning we were a bit hamstrung in that we were talking the manufacturers, we had to get them across the line,” said Parkes.

Because Freeview were primarily concerned with forming relationships with manufacturers, their association with the retailers, who Parkes claims is the “front line” of the service, was neglected. 

“They didn’t talk to retail, and we didn’t talk to retail until we knew what the complete story was, so the retailers were unfortunately in a situation where they were in a vacuum of information.

“So before we got to the point where we could talk to them there was a bit of negativity because they didn’t know what was going on and they were left in the dark.”

Now that Parkes has completed her tour of retail groups, she says the mood of the relationships has swung around completely.

“Now that we’ve been talking to them there’s been nothing by positivity. They’ve been fabulous to deal with and extremely supportive.”