Quotes compiled by Patrick Avenell

“We’re in a recession” — that’s the message from Peter Anderson, proprietor of Andersons Electrical, a member of the Retravision Southern group in rural Victoria.

Anderson spoke to 774 ABC Melbourne this morning, confirming yesterday’s exclusive Current.com.au story concerning Retravision Southern’s crisis talks.

“We’ve been asked to come down to a meeting — we don’t know what the meeting is about — but obviously there is concern in our industry – the whole electrical industry,” Anderson told 774 ABC Melbourne’s Jon Faine.

“Everyone has been doing it very, very tough. I don’t think I’ve seen a retail scene like this ever. We’re a family business, we’ve been in this game for about 67 years.”

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Anderson said that it wasn’t just the rural areas that are suffering.

“I don’t think it’s just in the country, Victoria itself is in a really bad state and I don’t know how to overcome that problem, I don’t know what the answer is.”

When asked about the pressure being exerted by the bigger electrical stores, such as Harvey Norman and The Good Guys, and from the warehouse stores such as Masters and Bunnings, Anderson said that these stores are battling just as hard.

“You mention some of these bigger electrical stores: they’re doing it tough, they’re battling as hard as everyone else.

“[Prices have] been tumbling down for a long time now. I remember selling TVs for $3,000 — and that was only five years ago — and then they went to $2,000, and then they went to $1,000 and now they’re sitting at $500.

“Well obviously you’re not making any money there. You’ve got to be competitive, you’ve got to seem to be competitive enough in a country town and it’s tough on us and it’s tough on everyone else.”

Anderson told 774 ABC Melbourne that margins had “disappeared” and that he had to cut back on staff working hours due to the economy.

“I think we’re in a recession, I really believe that,” he said. “The so-called two-speed economy — everyone talks about the two-speed economy — well we’re in that low-speed economy.”

Peter Anderson's Retravision store is around 2.5 hours north of Melbourne.
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