JB Hi-Fi CEO picks his favourite Christmas products for upcoming rush

By Claire Reilly

With just 20 full days left until Christmas, retailers are hitting the home stretch in the busiest time of the year. One such retailer is JB Hi-Fi, which is expecting a good sales period thanks to its range of consumer electronics and accessories – and in some Queensland stores, even small appliances.

Current.com.au spoke to the CEO of JB Hi-Fi, Terry Smart, about his expectations for Christmas. According to Smart, festive success will come thanks to a strong product offering and an energetic cohort of retail sales staff treading the polished concrete in JB’s stores.

As far as Smart’s picks for popular gift ideas go this year, new technology is clearly a winner.

“There are a lot of great products out this year, from the iPad mini, iPad 4, and the Wii U. Windows 8 is out and iPhones remain a solid Christmas present, so there’s a lot of good technology that’s out at the moment in stores, and a lot of those are ideal gifting products. They’re the ones that continue to get people excited.

“At the end of the day, JB has a great wide range of gifts, so we’re ideally suited to this time of year for consumers.”

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While products such as the iPad mini and iPhones may not bring a great deal of margin for retailers, JB will also be pushing its accessory story this Christmas, focusing on add-ons that increase the value for consumer and retailer alike.

“We’ve always been big on the add-ons, but not just on the sense of a salesman adding on – we have a great range of accessories and we give consumers great choice and great prices in that area. It’s always a big opportunity for us, and a great opportunity.”

Despite recent comments from Gerry Harvey that the first half of next year will be “extremely difficult” for retailers, Smart says that knowing the future of retail is “really a case of 'who knows?'” and that it is important to stay focused on those things that are possible to control.

“All you can do as a retailer is just make sure you’re executing correctly, just make sure that you’ve got everyone online, products in stock, and just execute,” he said. “The rest will be what it will be. You’ve just got to make the most of whatever may be there, be it good or bad.

Ultimately, he said, one of the key strengths of JB (and one that would help to drive sales) was the company’s staff.

“We’ve just got great, passionate staff that enjoy what they do and love being there, and that’s what they do well. They’re very genuine and they enjoy what they do."

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