Flat panel TVs are recession proof according to leading retail group

By Patrick Avenell

OXLEY: The man in charge of retail at one of Australia’s fastest growing retail chains has identified the products that are keeping consumer electronics profitable during the economic downturn.

Con Nicolas is retail director at WOW Sight & Sound, which is currently undertaking an ambitious expansion campaign, both inside and outside its native Queensland. Speaking to Current.com.au at the site of yesterday’s new store opening in Oxley, Nicolas said flat panel TVs were still the most popular item. He credited this popularity to two Federal Government policies.

“Big screen TVs are still selling well and digital set top boxes,” he said. “With the grant that the Government’s giving, and also the Government is educating everyone to switch over from analogue to digital, so people want to get a hold of free channels.”

Other categories also doing well with the WOW crowd are MP3 players, mobile phones and computers. Amongst these are some perennial favourites.

“As you go into electronics, you’ve got iPods, they’re still selling; mobiles; computers, and all the external hard drives that go with it; fun electronics is doing very well; Wii consoles, there’s always new titles and games that kids want. It’s all doing well.”

The new WOW store in Oxley is the 14th such outlet the SSI Group has opened. As part of the SSI retail strategy, the group owns the entire complex, known as a Zone, and leases out retail space to other large format retailers.

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