In his first week in Cobar new Harvey Norman franchisee Tristan Rogers had a flood in the shop, plus endless days of 40-plus degrees however it seems this fella from Tasmania likes the place and plans to stay for a while.
Tristan, who moved to Cobar from Hobart in January with his partner, said he had been keen to get out of the rat race of the city and saw the Cobar Harvey Norman store as a fantastic opportunity.
“I had to Google Cobar because I didn’t know where it was, but after having a look at Google maps and some of the things that are online, I thought yeah that would make for a great sea change in reverse,” Tristan told The Cobar Weekly.
He said he was disappointed to hear of the amount of change overs in franchisees that the store has had in the past couple of years.
“I think it doesn’t create a good message for the brand. Different operators do things differently so there was no consistency.
“I can understand why people are a little bit hesitant about the shop because they just don’t know what they are walking into.
“I am not going to say that I will be here forever, but I am not planning moving for the foreseeable future,” Tristan said.
“My first priority is customers and customer service and so far I have been able to connect with the community and connect with people who have walked into the shop.
“I also like to see things through, so this is not a short term plan for me, this store has a lot of potential,” he said.
Tristan is enjoying the slower paced lifestyle in Cobar and doesn’t miss working in a big city store where it was constantly “go, go, go”.
He said with a large volume of customers coming into the Hobart store he wasn’t able to spend as much time with each customer as he would have liked.
“Here I’ve found I have been able to spend a lot more time with people, talking,” he said.
Tristan has worked for Harvey Norman for seven and a half years and Cobar is his first stint as a franchisee.
He’s made a few changes in the shop, moved things around and also brought in more stock including Apple Mac computers and iPads.
Tristan also wants to trial more flexible opening hours and will look at late night trading to cater for those who work shift work and can’t get into the store during regular opening hours.
“I am interested in being involved with community groups and discussions in regards to the future of business in the main street.
“I was really excited to hear of plans to have an annual theme,” he said.
Technology is one of Tristan’s interests and he’s keen to get a PC group or a technology group started up.
And when he’s found his feet a bit more in the store, he said he also plans to join the local tennis club.