By Martin Vedris

SYDNEY: Despite selling at least 35,000 Bravia HD LCD TV’s in July with its free Playstation 3 giveaway, Sony Australia still sees growth potential for flat panel TV in August.

July was certainly a strong month for LCD TV sales. Sony sold at least 35,000 Bravias in July because all 35,000 free PS3s were redeemed by consumers with two days to go in the promotion. The promotion got off to a fast start with “almost 1,000 bonus PS3 consoles claimed within the first 24 hours of the promotion,” according to Sony Australia’s head of strategy and brand development, Toby Barbour.

The result was all part of the plan for Sony.

“We had been quietly confident that we would clear the 35,000 units within the month of July, so I’d say that finishing two days before the end of July was pretty much right in line with our expectations and our planning,” said Barbour.

While Sony thanked its retail partners for getting behind the promotion, there were no regrets that the promotion ended with still two weeks to go until the Beijing Olympic Games.

“With any promotion of this scale and investment you’re planning for success for both ourselves and the retailer and sure it’s easy to take a view that we could have sold another 5,000 and get greedy, but we’re very happy with the result, our retail partners are very happy with the result,” said Barbour.

“We’ve stimulated a very strong July and we do recognise that there is still momentum in the category. We believe August will be strong but it is also going to be very cluttered in the marketplace in August and we’re satisfied with our timing and the sales performance and the share we’ve managed to capture.”

When asked if the month’s sales put Sony at the top of the category, Barbour hinted that it has been a good month.

“We don’t have July total month but we do track weekly data and we are quietly confident that we will maintain a strong leadership position both in panel TV and LCD value share and unit share for the month of July.

“We believe that August will be a very strong month for the category and we have seen an uplift of about 25 to30 per cent in units July on June this year and we believe August will continue to be strong and the category year on year is performing so well and it’s always difficult to put the Olympics in the context of what is very strong category growth.”