By Keri Algar

SYDNEY, NSW: The anticipated 30 per cent drop in flat panel pricing over the next year, as suggested by Narta chairman John Wipfli, has not concerned Harvey Norman who today said that as the Australian dollar closes on the greenback the TV category will experience bumper sales to compensate.

Chris Raju, TV category manager at Harvey Norman, said that this year’s unpredictable consumer confidence will be balanced as the Australian dollar reaches parity with the U.S. dollar.

“I think if anything we’re going to see a strong period in the next six months, at the very least, because the effect of the dollar has obviously had on the market,” said Raju to

“For our business it is dramatic because it’s great for consumers as TVs are becoming more and more affordable.

“We’ve certainly seen a big spike in terms of second and third TV purchases. That’ll continue to drive the small screen sector and obviously as the dollar continues to improve above the U.S. you’d expect the larger screens to get a little bit cheaper as well. That’ll certainly drive more and more people into stores and more momentum into the business.

“I don’t see the [flat panel market] softening at all. The overall economy has gone through a rough and tumble in terms of consumer spending over the last few months, and that’s no doubt going to have an impact on the overall business. But if you specifically look at TVs we’re certainly going to sell more and more boxes over the coming 6 to 12 months.”