JB Hi-Fi CEO Terry Smart spoke to Current.com.au about several key issues affecting his business and the industry.
What caught JB’s eye at the CES in Las Vegas this year?
The guys [from Vegas] are back in the office, we’re going through a lot of that: TV screen sizes are definitely getting bigger and OLED will come out a bit later in the year – that’s going to be good for the TV category.
Ultrabooks — they were about 80-odd models of Ultrabooks launched — that’s going to be great for the computer/IT category because it will generate a lot of replacement in the market, and continued growth in accessories is going to be good.
Is JB’s share price undervalued at the moment?
We don’t and can’t control the share price. We’ve just got to deliver and let the market decide on what the share price is. It’s a tough retail period at the moment and one thing I am confident on is we can do better than most out there.
Do you see a turnaround to general negativity in the industry?
It’s hard to look forward and see a turnaround out there, it’s just going to remain very challenging from what we can see at the moment and we’ve just got to continue to execute and execute well.
There have been rumours of JB Hi-Fi launching a bid for Dick Smith from Woolworths — any truth to this?
[Smart laughs] No, we don’t have any interest in Dick Smith.
Any interest in any companies for growth?
We always keep an open mind and we’ll review any opportunities that do cross the desk but as far as Dick Smith [is concerned], no we don’t have any desire to acquire them.
JB Now is in beta mode — any chance of incorporating video for a full service?
We have a great opportunity to include video in JB Now, we’ve got those relationships now with the movie studios and we’re going to continue to look at that.
Has JB Now take-up been on track?
Take-up has been reasonable, we’re still waiting to launch the mobile app, which is vital for subscriptions going forward and we hope to do that in the coming months.