By James Wells

BRISBANE: Everard Johnson, the leader of the Betta Stores Retail consortium, the largest retailer in the new buying group and an interim board member of the organisation, has sent a document to all members of the group reminding them to sign the new franchise agreement.

“All you are required to do is to sign your new agreement which comes with no additional costs to your business — only savings,” Johnson said in the statement obtained by

Johnson reaffirmed his commitments to former BSL franchisees which were made during the bidding war for the business with Leading Edge.

“Three key points worth emphasising within the new agreement include: a new, simplified license agreement, abolishment of the five per cent non-preferred supplier levy and removal of any conference fees,” he said.

“New BSR franchise agreements are being issued now to all retailers. Your agreement pack will include return details and timeframes for completion," he said.

In his document Johnson also discussed the money that has been received from members who financially supported the BSR bid for the franchise business.

“All funds pledged by the BSR retailers are currently being held in a trust account. Consequently, all documents relating to the new company prospectus and shareholdings wil be issued to relevant retailers by mid-December 2006. These documents are being issued by the BSR legal firm – Nicol, Robinson and Hallets."

Johnson said there will be a visible level of state support for the new BSR company and retailers will be requested to form a state committee which will consist of a state chairperson, no more than four retailer committee members and additionally there will be retail support managers to support stores at a state level and who will be responsible for  co-ordinating all state committee meetings and will be the retailer’s direct contact for any franchisee issues.

BSR will also form a national retail council on which will sit each state’s committee chairperson. National category committees will also be formed for whitegoods, IT/AV and portable/seasonal products comprising two retailers plus the relevant BSR category managers.

“Retailers, these are your brands and your company. You have worked hard to secure this new entity and now is the time to get behind BSR Australia Ltd; and to enjoy the benefits that are ahead. Take the opportunity to become involved with your committees, pass on your feedback at your state level, and help to shape your future," Johnson said.

Johnson confirmed that the first BSR Australia retailer conference will be held in April 2007 along with the first BSR annual general meeting where members will be able to vote for a new board.

Johnson also asked the new group to unite and support the new business.

“BSR retail members who have supported this purchase both financially and by pledging commitment for the new organisation should today feel very proud of our new company. The future of the Betta Electrical and Chandlers brands is finally in the hands of the retailers,” Johnson said.

“Betta Stores Retail in now in a truly unique situation. All levels of the distribution channel will benefit as the new company grows.”