Retravision has staked a claim on the strength of the WA economy, stepping up promotions and upping its sales targets for the festive season in anticipation of a bumper Christmas trading period.
Freight carriers have reported steady orders from the country's biggest retailers in recent weeks, suggesting they are bracing for a flat Christmas trading period.
But Retravision (WA) chief executive Paul Holt said aggressive competition among retailers, deepening price deflation on big-ticket products such as flat-screen TVs and rate cuts had created a perfect storm for WA shoppers over the Christmas trading period.
"There are still plenty of jobs in WA, people are still earning lots of money but they aren't spending, and that tells me people have lots of money to spend at Christmas," he said. "We had a good Christmas last year and we're planning promotions and initiatives to stimulate our customers to come and shop with us again this year."
Accounts filed with the corporate regulator reveal Retravision (WA) - which incorporates 91 stores in WA, South Australia and the Northern Territory and includes the West Coast Hi-Fi, Fridge & Washer City, Best Buy Electrical and Electsales brands - suffered a 9.3 per cent drop in revenue to $331.7 million in 2010-11.
Although gross profit improved thanks to a lower cost of sales, net profit generated by the reporting entity fell 54.2 per cent to $990,000 on higher costs in other areas. The bulk of the group's profits are retained at store level.Despite "very challenging" conditions during the year - Harvey Norman shut down the loss-making Rick Hart brand in WA - Mr Holt said Retravision took share in key categories, including flat-screen TVs. It has about 30 per cent of the whitegoods and air-conditioning markets in WA.