SOUTH-WEST electrical stores trading under the Retravision banner yesterday reassured customers they would keep their doors open despite serious financial difficulties in the Melbourne southern division head office.
All five Retravision outlets in Warrnambool, Hamilton, Portland, Camperdown and Mortlake told The Standard they were privately owned and did not have the financial problems that drove the main office perilously close to going into administration. Retravision Southern is understood to be facing cash-flow problems with difficulties paying suppliers.
It operates as an independently-owned franchise of Retravision, servicing 104 private enterprise stores in Victoria and Tasmania.
At crisis talks yesterday, Southern employees were told they would be paid if the company fell into administration, according to trade publication Current.com.au
“I can confirm that this morning we did have a staff briefing and at that meeting it was noted that things were tough for the Retravision Southern region,” a spokesman for Retravision chairman Ian Ray was quoted as saying.
“We are working through various ‘work-out’ solutions, and there have been some late payments with suppliers.”
In Warrnambool, Leahy’s Retravision store spokesman Rob Askew said it was business as normal. “It’s only head office that has cash-flow problems, not us,” he said.
“Regional stores are independently owned and could continue with their own buying scheme.”
Hamilton’s Darcy Walker said his family had been in electrical retailing for 60 years and planned to continue for another 60. “We will always stand by our customers,” he said.
“We’ve got faith in the board that they’ll be able to work things through.”
Mortlake’s Robbie Jewell also said the financial problems were only with head office, not the independent store operators.
“Many people have been ringing or calling in today wondering what’s happening,” he said. “We’ll still be around.”