Feeds

Oz tech retailer threatens parallel import strategy

JB to emulate Kogan?

Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes

The phrase “grey market” is about to get a word-of-the-day workout, with tech retailer JB Hi-Fi becoming the latest company to eye parallel importation as a survival strategy in the face of online competition from overseas.

As The Register noted back in January, local bricks-and-mortar retailers are squeezed by manufacturers whose landed price in Australia is so high that individual consumers’ can import a single device at prices lower than the retailers can get them onto shelf.

JB, whose lineup includes computers and tablets, games consoles, TVs, audio and cameras, told shareholders on October 12 that a lack of “blockbuster” product launches in the July quarter of 2010-2011 had stifled sales growth, but that the lead-up to Christmas along with the iPhone 4S launch could provide a boost in the September quarter.

However, supplier prices are also in the spotlight. Chairman Patrick Elliot fired the warning shot over vendors’ bows, saying that as much as 15 percent of the product range is sold at lower prices in other international markets, including China, and that the company might have to bypass the local channels to compete.

JB’s warning of possible parallel imports follows a similar move by self-publicist and online electronics retailer Ruslan Kogan to ship products around “official” channels earlier this year.

Kogan’s move brought accusations of “grey marketing”, something that will be harder to level against a company subject to all the constraints of being publicly-listed.

The “Australia tax” has popped up in parliament a couple of times this year, with most attention and criticism directed towards Apple (which to be fair has narrowed the gap between local and international prices during 2011). ®

A new approach to endpoint data protection

More from The Register

next story
Philip K Dick 'Nazi alternate reality' story to be made into TV series
Amazon Studios, Ridley Scott firm to produce The Man in the High Castle
Nintend-OH NO! Sorry, Mario – your profits are in another castle
Red-hatted mascot, red-colored logo, red-stained finance books
Sonos AXES support for Apple's iOS4 and 5
Want to use your iThing? You can't - it's too old
Joe Average isn't worth $10 a year to Mark Zuckerberg
The Social Network deflates the PC resurgence with mobile-only usage prediction
Feel free to BONK on the TUBE, says Transport for London
Plus: Almost NOBODY uses pay-by-bonk on buses - Visa
Twitch rich as Google flicks $1bn hitch switch, claims snitch
Gameplay streaming biz and search king refuse to deny fresh gobble rumors
Stick a 4K in them: Super high-res TVs are DONE
4,000 pixels is niche now... Don't say we didn't warn you
prev story

Whitepapers

7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration
Avoid the typical headaches of OS migration during your next project by learning about 7 elements of radically simple OS migration.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Solving today's distributed Big Data backup challenges
Enable IT efficiency and allow a firm to access and reuse corporate information for competitive advantage, ultimately changing business outcomes.
A new approach to endpoint data protection
What is the best way to ensure comprehensive visibility, management, and control of information on both company-owned and employee-owned devices?