By Patrick Avenell
JB Hi-Fi has today revealed where it sees new growth opportunities in the months leading up to Christmas. As part of its annual results package released today to the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX), JB provided the following nuggets of optimism in what has been a depressed retail market:
-In computers, JB expects strong uptake of Windows 8 from October onwards, with consumers drawn to the new operating system’s touch features. Although non-Apple tablets have failed to have the same impact as the various iPad iterations, JB expects strong sales from Samsung’s Galaxy Tab models and the co-branded Asus Google Nexus 7.
-In mobile telephones, JB channels tech blogs with the statement, “New iPhone 5 rumoured to be released in September 2012” — it reads just like a headline from one of those Apple innuendo sites. JB also expects growth in new 4G devices, which could include the next version of the iPhone.
-Sharp and Samsung are both mentioned as being strong players in the TV market for the rest of 2012, with JB targeting the really big screen TV segment. New OLED models are also expected by the “second or third quarter of FY2013”, though any value gains could be offset by the troubling “continued growth of ‘private label’ panels”, such as JB’s house brand Soniq.
-Much of JB’s growth in video games is reliant on strong uptake of two new Nintendo consoles, the handheld 3DS XL (due early September) and the Wii U, which is set for release shortly before Christmas.
-In the digital camera category, JB predicts volume growth in DSLRs as the entry level price points come down and further growth in the booming mirrorless camera category.
“We remain focused on improving our gross margin while not compromising our price promise to our customers,” CEO Terry Smart said. “Innovation will continue as we plan to launch new digital services and a new improved JB Hi-Fi website.
“Our store rollout continues to deliver solid returns based on the success of our considered property selection criteria. Furthermore, we continue to actively manage the existing store portfolio to maximise returns.”