With mostly positive outlook.
The response to JB Hi-Fi’s acquisition of The Good Guys has been unanimous among key retailers and suppliers as they welcome a renewed powerhouse and feel pleased that the deal remained within the Australian retail market. However, uncertainty around competition remains.
Winning Group CEO John Winning believes JB Hi-Fi’s decision to acquire The Good Guys will create a more competitive playing field, “especially for the smaller family businesses, like what we were five or ten years ago,” he told Appliance Retailer.
“As The Good Guys will continue to operate as its own brand, there is no real change in the customer offering. Bigger doesn’t necessarily mean better, you only need to look at the supermarket and hardware sectors as an example.
“In today’s landscape, it’s not just about which retailer has the most stores closest to the customer. Consumers have so many tools at their disposal for researching reviews and testimonials – they will choose to shop with retailers that not only offer great prices but an experience and exceptional customer service,” he said.
However, Leading Appliances national group manager, Nicholas Fry described the deal as one which will invigorate the industry and provides positive stimulus for its members and loyal customers.
“It certainly changes the dynamic of our industry, and it will be very interesting to see how the merger plays out, for both businesses, and for suppliers and consumers. It’s early days yet, of course, but there may be wider implications for the industry as a whole with two major players merging together,” Fry told Appliance Retailer.
“The ACCC doesn’t seem to think there’s any anti-competitive issue at hand, but a horizontal merger such as this could potentially lead to a market situation similar to the grocery duopoly we have seen play out between Coles and Woolworths over recent years, and the ramifications of that. But the advent of Aldi, and the growth of the independent IGA group, has seen a competitive market place remain viable in the grocery game, and I think that’s what we’ll see with this situation in the electrical appliances retail sector,” he said.
“I think there remains sufficient competition and opportunity within our sector for retailers, suppliers and consumers to continue to be serviced exceptionally well, with plenty of choice available to them.”
Meanwhile, BSH general manager of category development, Nick Ruffell said, “BSH has strong trading partnerships with both The Good Guys and JB Hi-Fi. We will continue working closely with all our valued partners in order to add value to our consumers.”
Smeg general manager of sales and marketing, Jim Kalotheos noted that both JB Hi-Fi and The Good Guys have done “an amazing job in building big retail brands.”
“Ultimately, consumers will decide on the success of the new venture and we wish both businesses well,” he said.
Shriro general manager of retail appliances, Craig Handley was “pleased that Good Guys ownership will remain with an iconic Australian company rather than an offshore entity.”
“As a supplier I welcome and support the enhanced retail expertise that this merger brings, and look forward to continuing our valuable relationship,” he said.