By James Wells

The CEO of Panasonic Australia, Steve Rust, has recommended that the market look past the short-term issues facing the industry and embrace a philosophy of investment in service and products to ensure future profitability.

Rust was asked to comment on the state of the market following the profit downgrade issued yesterday by JB Hi-Fi as well as the ongoing decline in margin from AV products.

“There’s no doubt many organisations in the Australian retailing industry are going through a period of adjustment,” Rust told Current.

“Prevailing economic conditions, the move to online and other factors have driven change more quickly than at any other time in recent history.

“The need for such considerable adjustment can understandably be uncomfortable but it’s important to remember that it’s finite. History tells us that after a period of flux consumer sentiment and industry business models will begin to settle – albeit in a new form.

“The key is not to get lost in the short-term disruption but rather focus on the longer term opportunity these changes will provide. For a lot of companies this means investing in their business, new product lines or approaches to market that will drive profitability for many years to come.

“Organisations that have been successful in this industry over a long period of time have done so because they deliver great service and products to their customers. This quality will continue to hold the industry in good stead, regardless of the challenges that may come along,” he said.