Mouthing Off – The 2012 Quotes of the Year

Compiled by Patrick Avenell

“When consumers go out and buy something they spend about 10 per cent less than what they expected to spend when they pushed the doors open. So we are trading down the consumer” — Sony Australia’s new marketing manager Nicolas Barendson discusses internal research highlights the discounting culture in retail.

“It will be the most positive thing that has happened to Retravision for years — it is the future of Retravision. What we are doing will ensure the future of Retravision” — former Retravision chairman Ian Ray in February looks forward to the unification of the three Retravisions.

“We’re looking at Betta” — four months later Ray confirms he is in talks to defect to Betta Stores Retail.

“A true reflection of fashion trends, the kMix Boutique takes inspiration from the fashion colour trend and sets the pace for interior styling in 2012 in statement shades of Glam Green, Passion Pink, Sunkissed Yellow, Raspberry Red, Bold Blue, Outrageous Orange, Coconut White and Peppercorn Black” — Kenwood takes the marketing colour spectrum up a notch with this incredible sentence from its kMix Boutique press release.

“If you want a Dyson you have to buy a Dyson” —English floorcare brand Dyson was not messing around when hitting back at copycat suppliers in its 2012 ad campaign.

“Harvey Norman and The Good Guys are the major electrical retailers in Australia, so unless you have a significant presence with them you don’t a business” — Glen Dimplex chairman and CEO Sean O’Driscoll makes it clear who his preferred retailers are.

“A lot of the major suppliers were disillusioned that they couldn’t go in and get their stock [back], and when they asked why, they were just told, ‘we’ve decided a better way would be to sell it’” — a WOW Sight & Sound creditor reveals the impotence of suppliers when a retailer collapses.

“There are clear limits to how close elements can be on the screen before users can't touch accurately. We believe 10-inch screen is minimum necessary” — the late Steve Jobs in 2010 dismisses talk of Apple releasing a smaller iPad.

“iPad mini is every inch an iPad” — Apple senior vice president of marketing Philip Schiller contradicting the great man.

"We were behind the game in smartphones, we dropped the ball” — LG head of mobile Ben Glimmerveen giving an honest assessment of LG’s credentials.

“TVs are very important in retail but it doesn’t mean you make any money off them” — Matthew Sun from Betta Home Living in Geelong echoing the thoughts of many suppliers.

“Dear Supplier, Your end of month payment due yesterday unfortunately was not processed, due to an issue with our bank. We are currently working on a resolution, which should be resolved within the week” — the email from Retravision Southern to various suppliers that triggered the collapse of the 51-year-old group in May.

“In 25 years of analysing GfK market data in many corners of the world, the current retail environment in Australia could be the toughest I’ve seen. Ironically, it’s not because consumers have stopped buying — volumes are quite buoyant in many categories — it’s the unprecedented levels of price erosion, stripping hundreds of millions of dollars from the value of some of the major categories, that’s at the root of the problem” — GfK Australia MD Gary Lamb when asked for his views on the market in June.

“I started in the industry in 1982 as a typewriter sales guy cold calling on city offices. I was 18 years old and I succeeded in getting more dates with secretaries than I got sales!” — Sanyo Oceania MD Bill Crichton looking back at his 30-year career as his company folds into Panasonic Australia.

“I’m torn: I don’t like how expensive it is for us but I do like how expensive it is for my competitors” — Glem Gas MD David Gilmore on the prospect of MEPS regulations for cooking appliances.

“You devote all this time to your omnichannel and integrated [platform] and you go on with all this bullshit and the result is that it is 1 per cent of you sales, but if you don’t go on with the bullshit you are out of fashion, you are not with it” — Gerry Harvey explaining his passion for online retail.

“I’m bored of the sensational debate created by many traditional retailers where online is pitted against brick and mortar” — John Winning hitting back at the critics of Appliances Online.

“Every store that opens is a competitor” — Harvey Norman general manager Ben McIntosh on suppliers such as Apple and Samsung opening dedicated brand stores.

“They all want to be Apple — they’ve all got Apple envy” — independent retailer Peter Michael sharing his views on suppliers opening their own stores.

“If the offer is unsuccessful it is likely that the share price will decline significantly, as the recent increase reflects the announcement of the offer” — Haier chairman Liang Haishan threatening Fisher & Paykel shareholders with losses if they don’t accept the Chinese company’s takeover offer.

“There are actually no formal standards yet that have been communicated,” — Sony’s Paul Colley on why the Japanese company is persisting with 4K after the Consumer Electronics Association (USA) decreed that Ultra High Definition was the best name for the new format.

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