Max & Lesley Buchanan have been striving for over 30 years to develop a company of excellence. A company that is financially sound and well respected and trusted by both customers and staff. A company that will aspire to be a leader in its fields of operation and sets examples that others seek to follow. A company that is accepted as an important part of the community – giving back to the community as the company grows.
To this end and from humble beginnings starting from rental domestic property and then to a small corner grocery store, an opportunity became available in 1980 when a long time family friend, Mr Charlie Begent, wished to retire from his small 3-staff electrical store in Charles Street, Launceston.
Mr Begent and his partner Mr Tony McGuire (then trading as Begent & McGuire) continued to be employed by the company for a futher two years to give the new owners time to gain the necessary knowledge and skills required to run this business.
At this time the business was turning over just under $1 million in sales per annum after commencing trading in 1970.
We began to Grow, Expand and Grow Again
Other opportunities in the electrical retail industry were assessed or began to present themselves with the philosophy and criteria that any expansion should be undertaken only after quantifiable market research, keeping any borrowings below a pre-determined percentage of overall assets and wherever possible, by purchasing our own properties.
Listed below are the major changes in our company’s growth:
1980 Purchased the original Begent & McGuire retail operations at 138 Charles Street Launceston.
1982 Expanded to a “warehouse retail” store in Earl Street Launceston – the first warehouse-type electrical retail outlet in Tasmania.
1983 Purchased a finance company established in 1953 to provide easy access for Begents growing customer base to financial facilities, hire purchase, leasing and rental.
1984 Purchased a large retail premises at 58 Wellington Street Launceston. Transferred the Earl St “warehouse” to the new facilities. This store was an instant success being located on a major outlet just outside the CBD area of Launceston.
1986 June – purchased the business of Whites Furniture House in Devonport. This family business had been operating in the same location by the same family for over 70 years. The store was remodeled and a large range of electrical appliances were introduced into the store as well as the existing furniture range.
1988 April – commenced operations in Ulverstone in rental premises selling small range of electrical, furniture and bedding.
1988 July – purchased failed furniture store in Burnie and introduced electrical appliances to this store together with existing furniture and bedding range.
1989 May – joined by invitation as a Retravision member, transferring from the Betta group.
1991 February – purchased premises in Ulverstone main street, remodeled this store and transferred our operations from the previously rented premises.
1991 July – commenced operations in Scottsdale from small rented premises.
1992 January – purchased large property main outlet Don Road Devonport. Renovated property and relocated Devonport store to premises three times previous size.
1993 March – purchased business and property of Betta store in Scottsdale and relocated to these modern large premises.
1995 November – purchased 2000 square metre warehouse in York Street Launceston for statewide distribution and warehouse centre for all of Begents stores.
1997 December 8 – fire completely destroyed main Launceston retail store and head office. Over $2.5 million damage to stock and property.
1997 December 9 – (day after fire) – opened for business in York Street warehouse. Increased sales to all time company record through very large advertising and publicity programme.
1998 November 17th – after 343 days operating from York Street warehouse, Begents new $3.1 million development of over 33,000 square feet up-market retail store opened on original site at 58 Wellington Street Launceston.
1998 Striving to increase the range of electrical, furniture and bedding products, and continue to add value to new and existing customers and suppliers, and to increase sales. Commitment to update and remodel all existing stores and look for expansion opportunities, while remaining a true Tasmanian owned and operated company serving our local communities and creating employment opportunities for Tasmanians.
2008 Extended and refurbished Head Office store with increased stock selection and to latest retail standards.
2009 Purchased and remodelled new "Devonport Super Store".