EXCLUSIVE: Indi Imports Facing Expansion Pain, Set To Roll Out Own Service Operation
Melbourne based Indi Imports is setting up their own service operation, with a fleet of vehicles available in key states to services their products which include the European Loewe range of products, which will shortly include audio and in 2022 white goods.
Available initially in Melbourne the new service group will also fix products for all retail stores who are involved with Indi as well as their own stores
Shortly Rio Sound & Vision is set to open a massive new multi-million dollar experience store complete with movie sets and audio studio’s, it has been described as the biggest audio and entertainment gear showroom in Australia.
Paul Riachi the CEO of Indi Imports said “Service and support and honouring manufacturer’s warranty is a key part of our operation. What we are planning will see our own service vehicles initially servicing North, South East and West suburbs of Melbourne and then other cities where we can combine our operation with third party support organisations who can service our products exactly to manufacturers specifications”.
“It’s basically our own geek squad for audio and display products”.
According to Riachi the business is also looking for additional warehouse facilities after the Company experienced rapid growth in 2020.
“We own a 1,500 square metre facility in Melbourne but now need a 6,000 square metre facility due to the growth in demand for Loewe TV’s after we moved to selling Loewe TV’s via The Good Guys. We are also recruiting additional people as we will shortly have more brands and a significant expansion of the Loewe range in Australia.
On the thorny issue of warranty liability Riachi said that his policy “Unlike some distributors” was to support a manufacturer who had changed distributors.
When a manufacturer has a five year warranty on a product and then suddenly changes distributors, the distributor who sold the product is according to Australian Competition & Consumer Commission laws liable for the product leaving a distributor exposed.
We know of one brand who is financially struggling because of COVID-19 to supply products and there is no certainty that they will survive leaving a distributor in Australia with warranty liabilities.
“Most distributors take over the liability for a product when a change is made. We have done it recently with Krell, Spendor, Cyrus and the list goes on, some on the other hand due in part to financial problems and a lack of resources or people to service returns to accept liability and have only done it when pressed by consumers. We are above that level of distribution “.
We need an agreement among Australian distributors to support a brand when it changes hands up to a set period as well as an insurance scheme to protect distributors if a brand fails overseas” said Riachi.