By James Wells

IPSWICH: The largest member of the Retravision group, RT Edwards, has been sold to South Australian based electrical retailer Radio Rentals — a member of the $3 billion Narta buying group, crippling Retravision in Queensland and nationally.

The deal, which has been completed for an undisclosed amount, represents another major retailer within the Narta buying group which purchases electrical products for publicly listed retailers David Jones, JB Hi-Fi and Clive Peeters as well as Winning Appliances, Bing Lee and Downtown Duty Free with purchases in Australia and New Zealand exceeding $3 billion for the last financial year.

This is not the first time Narta has stolen valuable purchasing power from Retravision.

Narta acquired the family business, Whitfords based in the inner west Sydney suburb of Five Dock, on 1 November 2006. Also in November 2006, the Coffs Harbour based Morrison electrical business moved to Narta after 42 years with Retravision.

On May 1 2007, Soundys, a family business from the regional New South Wales town of Tamworth left Retravision for Narta.

And Retravision is not the only group to succumb to Narta’s growing pulling power.

On 1 September 2006, Tom Antonio of Whyalla moved his four Electrical Discounters stores to the Narta group after over 20 years in the Betta Electrical buying group.

Then in November 2006 Narta acquired the former Betta Electrical businesses, Anthony Cowan’s Albury and Wodonga stores, which are now branded as Your Electrical Superstore.

On 1 April 2007 Narta acquired Wills – The Quadrant in Launceston from the Betta Electrical group. That store celebrated its 100th birthday in February this year.

Then in September 2007, Peter Hammerman’s 2nds World group left Betta for Narta.

New Zealand was next on the agenda for Narta, which announced in August 2007 that it would establish operations in there following the JB Hi-Fi acquisition of Hill and Stewart’s New Zealand businesses.

The initial members of Narta New Zealand Limited were JB Hi-Fi, Hill and Stewart, leading New Zealand cooking specialist, Autel, and the largest South Island electrical retailer, Smith City.

Appliance Connexion, New Zealand’s largest independent electrical buying group, also joined Narta in August 2007. Prior to joining Narta New Zealand, Appliance Connexion had enjoyed an eight year working relationship with the Narta buying group in Australia.

Narta managing director Kay Spencer and general manager Michael Jackson were unavailable for comment today.