About Bergen's
Emphasis on timing and quality has enabled Bergen's Appliance Repairs & Spares to set itself apart in an industry that often has customers pulling their hair out in frustration. The franchise was created in 2002; the company was started with the express purpose of bridging the gap between the service expected and the service delivered in the industry. "People are used to the so-called bakkie operators. I realized that there was a need for a brand other than what was available in the market at that stage". Says Adriaan van Bergen, franchisor of Bergen's.
Bergen's currently consists of 27 branches Nationwide. The secret to Bergen's success is community-based work. "We focus on work within communities and we are efficient because we do not service areas that are too large. In the West Rand, for instance, there are six branches," says Van Bergen.
"The average household owns 15 to 25 appliances. There is huge market scope. We specialize in both white and black equipment, as it is known in the industry Whites being fridges, washing machines, dishwashers and the like, and blacks being VCR s, hi-fis, televisions and other audio-visual equipment".
Despite the growth of the franchise, Van Bergen is not resting on his laurels. He is in the final stages of creating two more franchises: The second of the Bergen's brand was launched on September 1, 2007. Home Automation specializes in garage door automation, CCTV, intercoms and gate automation.
"Each brand belongs to a separate franchise group. We have already established a loyal support base and the new franchises will capitalize on the strength of the brand. Our vision for the future is to make Bergen's the household name for any household need" he says.
One of the biggest challenges facing the company is the popular belief that appliance technicians and electricians specialize in the same area.
While appliance technicians usually learn their skills through training in the trade, electricians need a trade certificate to repair household wiring.
"We have compiled our own training manuals and our technicians are of the highest quality"
Van Bergen says that they are not looking for technicians to run their franchises, but rather individuals that possess the correct business and people skills.
Franchisees are given comprehensive support, which includes training on the basics of household appliance repairs. Van Bergen has already enjoyed astounding success, considering that the business was only established in 2002. "I owned three branches before the first franchised branch was opened and the winning concept was duplicated. With the franchises, I focused on keeping the price low to create a foundation of outlets from which to build the business"
Bergen's uses drivers to collect appliances. This allows technicians more time to focus solely on appliance repairs. Bergen's offers customers two options. The first option is to collect white appliances and give the customer a quote. If the quote is not accepted, the appliance is returned free of charge.
However due to the intensity of evaluating black appliances, where the cost is under R500, the repairs are done automatically. (Audio-visual equipment) "When we collect items, we make sure that we are on time. We are often complimented on our punctuality and the fact that we get the work done in under 48 hours. It regularly happens that we collect an appliance in the morning and return it by the afternoon"
The second option is to send out technicians to do the repairs at customers' homes. A callout fee is charged for this service. Van Bergen has 14 years experience in the retail industry and assures franchisees that they will be supported by a comprehensive marketing strategy. The Bergen's Group uses exciting marketing strategies and its first radio ad started airing at the beginning of September 2007 on Rainbow Radio 90.7fm. They have also aired ads on Radio Sonder Grense.
"I have already appointed an agent in the Free State, Mpumalanga and the Cape. We want to be in every major town from Phalaborwa to Cape Town. We recently distributed pamphlets advertising the franchise in the Lowveld and we had a flood of responses from people saying they are starving for the services we provide"
Van Bergen says that, contrary to popular belief, stores in the higher income areas do extremely well. With some top-of-the-range appliances costing upwards of R10 000, not even the most affluent people can afford replacing these machines every time something goes wrong.
Please select a branch or franchise from the list on the right for further details about each outlet.
Please select a division from the list on the right for further details about each division.

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