By Patrick Avenell

SYDNEY: At the Get Ready for Digital TV conference this morning, Harvey Norman executive director David Ackery said that if the digital switchover is to be smooth and successful, the message to the general public, and to retailers, needs to be clear.

Ackery said that Harvey Norman and other retailers were still the focal point for consumers needing more information, and that retailers are in the “squeeze box” when it comes the switchover from analogue to digital.

“All retailers have consumers coming in asking about this technology and if it is not clear and focused for the retailer, with retail being pivotal in this whole operation, it will not work,” said Ackery.

Ackery used the expression ‘squeeze box’ to describe the role of retailers in this process. At the top of the box, placing downward pressure on retailers are the stakeholders. Beneath the box, asking questions and prodding the retail sector are the consumers.

“Retailers fit into the picture in the squeeze box between the Government, suppliers, marketers, PR and [below] the consumer and public. The top level has agendas and the bottom level a hunger for technology.

“Our responsibility is to get the information, sort it and give it to the public correctly and turn it into a sale.”

Ackery said that this process can only be successful and easy if the messages are clearly conveyed. There has to be one message, he said, as retailers are the only part of this process that deal with the consumer every day of the year.