JB Hi-Fi boss comments on Christmas sales and shrinkage

By Keri Algar

SYDNEY, NSW: JB Hi-Fi CEO, Terry Smart, told Current.com.au that the electrical retailer reduces internal stock shrinkage through non-negotiable staff procedures and sales incentives, over reduced shrinkage incentives.

“One thing that I worry about is that you don’t know what is internal [theft] or external. We have processes in place that everyone must do, it’s non-negotiable and it’s all about helping to reduce shrinkage,” Smart said.

Offering staff incentives for reduced stock shrinkage was not company policy, according to Smart.

“Incentives we offer the managers with are sales. That’s part of what the company’s success has been: we don’t overcomplicate this business. Shrinkage is a big issue, granted, but we just have non-negotiable procedures that must be done.”

“We handle external theft with security guard presence and staff on the floor acknowledging customers.

“The best you can do as a retailer is to be vigilant in-store, and you do that by having a security presence, by having staff acknowledging and greeting customers and walking around. All of that puts doubt in people’s mind if there was ever a thought that they might steal.”

Smart also commented on Christmas forecasts, saying JB Hi-Fi was expecting positive sales.

“We believe we’re going to have a good Christmas. And the reason we say that is we’ve seen a gradual increase in our comparative store sales since the start of July. It encourages us that the consumer is slowly returning and slowly coming back to spending. That’s an important and positive for Christmas.”

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