While JB Hi Fi’s CEO Richard Murray and Dick Smith’s CEO Nick Abboud are bullish about the prospects of a tech/small appliances offer to consumers, some suppliers are taking a cautious approach.
There are two key issues which appear to concern the industry:
Firstly, that neither the Dick Smith nor JB Hi Fi tech-centric retail environment lends itself to the merchandising of premium products. This is a major category trend which is enabling retailers to secure higher margins and profitability.
Second, there are some doubts about the quality of sales training as the sale of a small appliance is quite different to that of a tech product or a gadget.
Jura ranges premium coffee machines through Harvey Norman and existing appliance retailer stores. Head of sales, George Liakatos explained to Appliance Retailer that the strategy by Dick Smith and JB was “interesting”.
“The small appliance category is certainly growing very steadily, but selling appliances involves a very different skill set to selling gadgets. Their success will depend on the right training,” he said.
Liakatos said that Jura had not yet been approached by Dick Smith to range their products and did not presently have an account with JB Hi Fi.