By James Wells

SYDNEY: The decision to close Hitachi Australia is the result of excessive competition and thin margins, according to Sony managing director Carl Rose and Narta managing director Kay Spencer.

“It reflects the highly competitive nature of the market, and we’ve seen that in the retail side and it’s always bubbling along on the supplier side as well when this type of thing happens. It is an industry that runs on reasonably thin margins,” Rose told this morning.

Spencer, who manages the buying on behalf of retailers including JB Hi-Fi, Clive Peeters, Bing Lee, who have a combined retail turnover in excess of $3 billion, told she was saddened by the news.

“It is not good for the industry, it is not good for the employees,” Spencer said.

“Over the last three years, a lot of effort was taken to re-build the brand focus with hard work from staff and retail support.

“It is disappointing as it lessens the brands options in the market,” she said.