By Paul Hayes
MELBOURNE, VIC: As the positive sales influence of last year’s Federal Government stimulus payments continues to dissipate, major retailers are starting to see a decrease in performance.
According to the Bloomberg World Retail Index, in 2010 Australian groups Harvey Norman, David Jones and JB Hi-Fi are down 15.2 per cent, 14.8 per cent and 14.2 per cent, respectively.
But JB Hi-Fi chief executive officer, Richard Uechtritz, said that while there has been a drop in sales since stimulus payments drove sales higher in 2009, he does not fear it becoming a long term trend.
“Not at all. We are actually looking forward to other things this year that will offset (the recent fall).”
Uechtritz points to 3D TV, Apple’s iPad, the soccer World Cup and the imminent release of the 3D blockbuster, Avatar, as reasons to be confident in sales for 2010.
3D TV is especially prominent on the company’s sales radar.
With Samsung Electronics scheduled for a 19 April release of their 2010 3D TV range, followed by Sony’s planned release in July, the next generation of home entertainment well and truly has the ball rolling.
But with relatively limited 3D TV content still available, Uechtritz remains realistic in terms of market uptake.
“It might be a long time before it gains serious traction,” he said.
Regardless, he remains confident in its success, with Samsung 3D displays already available for JB customers to experience.
“If customers are anything like me, they can’t help but be impressed with what they see.”