By James Wells,

Betta Stores Retail (BSR), the franchisor of 134 Betta electrical and furniture retailers has announced it will be joining Narta, Australasia’s largest independent buying group.

The announcement was made at BSR’s national forum at the Royal Pines on the Gold Coast by recently appointed chief executive officer and former general manager of sales at LG Electronics, Graeme Cunningham.

Narta (National Associated Retail Traders of Australia) has a combined buying power of over $3.5 billion and counts among its 28 members JB Hi-Fi, Bing Lee, David Jones, Winning Appliances and Radio Rentals.

Cunningham told that this is a decision that had to be taken in order to preserve the role of independents in the marketplace.

“We had to make this change from the perspective that independents cannot be like they are today. They need to come together and as a result there will be efficiencies across the board,” he said.

The major benefits for the Narta group will be an increase in buying power which is estimated at over $300 million and will also boost market share in categories such as whitegoods following the loss of the Clive Peeters group, which is now owned by Harvey Norman.

“We have to stop thinking of ourselves as a buying group, that is now Narta. We are a brand and that brand is Betta,” Cunningham said.

Narta managing director Kay Spencer was unavailable for comment.

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