New technology sustains JB Hi-Fi sales, but stock shortages hurt

By Keri Algar

SYDNEY, NSW: Constant technological innovation will continue to bolster sales in the face of subdued consumer spending, said JB Hi-Fi in a statement released to the Australian Security Exchange (ASX).

The company said trading performance in the second half of 2010 was buffeted by a number of consecutive interest rates rises, the cycling of prior year government stimulus packages and inventory shortages of the latest hero products – particularly 3D panels and iPads.

Speaking to, JB Hi-Fi, Terry Smart said sales for new technologies were healthy, but dependent on availability.

“3D TVs have gone well. They’ve suffered from a lack of stock in the early days of launching. To some degrees some were probably launched a little early with a lot of hype but very little stock,” said Smart.

However, Smart said the Apple market was different in that consumers were quite specific about what they wanted, and they were prepared to wait for it.

“With things like the iPhone and iPad there isn’t necessarily an alternative, those customers want that particular product, they’re not just looking for a phone or a computer, as such.”

This morning the company announced encouraging results on the ASX. Despite slightly negative comparable store sales growth in July, JB Hi-Fi anticipates the 17 per cent increase on sales reported this year to continue in the 12 months to follow.

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