By James Wells

WHISTLER, CANADA: During her keynote address at the Narta conference, the group’s managing director, Kay Spencer, has weighed into the price increase debate with her personal opinion that any delay in price increases will hurt the industry.

Speaking to delegates at the Four Seasons Hotel in Whistler, Spencer referred to the price rises which have been announced by many of the major consumer electronics manufacturers, particularly the Japanese brands which have been affected by a 30 per cent drop in the conversion between the Australian Dollar and Japanese Yen.

“There as never been a better opportunity to close sales as those in our store at the moment are more likely to be genuine buyers. Improving conversion rates in a down-turning market is the closest thing to a silver bullet we have and a bullet might be the best solution if we can not effectively get a price increase,” Spencer said.

“The AV price increases have stalled, leaving those taking a leadership stance with arrows… does it hurt?

“I’m not offering instruction by way of this presentation, but my personal opinion is failure or slowness to implement a price increase is to the detriment of the industry — I’m stating the obvious,” she said.

“If we cannot provide a profitable industry, we can not offer value added services to the consumer, we can not prevent staff and cost reductions and generate funds to promote and grow the industry and we are perpetuating and assisting in the downturn.

“The leaders have made their stance it’s time for the others to follow.”

Spencer’s position was reinforced by another presentation by Narta general manager, Michael Jackson.

“Leadership, it’s what we need to complete the puzzle — display leadership, manage with leadership, guide by leadership, unite through leadership,” Jackson said.