By James Wells
WHISTLER, CANADA: Narta chairman John Wipfli opened the buying group’s 2009 conference this morning by reporting statistics which showed the group has achieved three times the growth compared to the rest of the industry, and saying it’s time to be optimistic about the market.
In his chairman’s address, Wipfli said the group’s members, including JB Hi-Fi, Bing Lee, Clive Peeters, Winning Appliances, David Jones and Ted’s Cameras and RT Edwards, achieved growth of 13 per cent in 2008 compared to the industry average of just 4.3 per cent.
Wipfli also revealed statistics which demonstrated the group’s strength across both whitegoods and browngoods with several market shares across major categories exceeding 25 per cent.
In 2008 Narta achieved 30.7 per cent share in plasma, 28.9 per cent in LCD, 26.2 per cent in imaging, 26 per cent in side by side refrigeration, 27.5 per cent in dishwashers and 32.7 per cent in cooking.
“That’s now history,” Wipfli said as he reflected on the impact of the global economic crisis.
“Our industry is not going to disappear, however growth may not be the same as it has been in the past. We should be optimistic, not pessimistic.”
The conference which is being held in the Harmony Ballroom of the Four Sesons Hotel in Whistler continues tomorrow.