In 1993, one woman took a look at the Australian movie rental industry, which was becoming full of restrictive franchises and monolithic multinational corporations, and knew that there could be a better way.
Keran Wicks was an ordinary rental store owner who was growing disillusioned with the rental industry. With a highly successful store in suburban Melbourne, she began to question why there was one pricing model from movie distributors for her independent store (and hundreds like hers) and another, cheaper pricing model for franchised stores simply due to a sign hanging out the front. Their stores weren’t any better, they were just the same as each other.
Seeing the inequality in the landscape, Keran set up The Network Group and specifically the rental branch Network Video, with a core group of just 12 like-minded stores. Within a year, Network comprised over a hundred stores, all part of a new group without having to sacrifice their identity or ideology. It didn’t take long before the rest of the industry sat up and took notice, and every year Network took valuable slices of the market share away from then larger and longer established rental groups, becoming the leading player in the rental market.
Network and its stores have also picked up more than its fair share of awards, including three national marketing awards, for our Exclusive to TV, Videology and Cans4Films campaigns. Network’s home entertainment knowledge and expertise also led to its expansion into New Zealand; and the creation of both the DVD retail website Done Dirt Cheap DVD and the industry information resource and wholesale web-service
My Video Store.
Over two decades down the track, Network still holds to the same principles and philosophies that put it on the path to success. However, The Network Group is far from being just all about home entertainment, as it evolved to encompass new businesses and forge new ground
Even before the rental industry entered a period of consolidation, The Network Group saw that the way of the future was through strategic diversification, rather than a narrow focus or a single revenue stream. Once again ahead of the curve, Network quickly streamlined internal processes to best serve them as they entered new arenas.
It wasn’t long before this strategy of diversification proved to the right one; even in just the last handful of years, The Network Group has grasped new opportunities and created new divisions like the popular North Melbourne gym - The Underground Fitness Club; Melbourne’s hottest event space – Space 338; and Business Innovations by Network – allowing small businesses to access the resource and talent of The Network Group.
As Network continues to evolve in the future and oversees a growing portfolio of diverse companies, there’s no doubt that the underlying principles of independence that drive Network will remain at its core.