At no stage did we say that JB Hi is dumping Sony as is now being claimed by current.com.au that earlier today ran the headline “JB Hi Fi is not dumping Sony, not even thinking about it”.
Journalist Patrick Avenell went on to write “recent report that JB Hi-Fi was set to “bone” Sony was a total fabrication. That’s the word from JB’s CEO, who spoke in glowing terms about his ongoing relationship with the leading Japanese supplier”.
What Avenell has failed to realise is that the word “boned” was being used in the context of “pointing the finger, and that’s exactly what JB Hi Fi CEO Richard Uechtritz did when he said “”Overall we don’t support their store opening strategy. It is not like an Apple store where Apple is a brand that owns a category. Sony is not in the same league as Apple and they definitely don’t own any categories. We are their biggest customer across music, gaming, display and several other areas” said Uechtritz”.
He added “At an Apple store they are not like a Sony Central store, desperate to close a deal or aggressively sell you a deal. They tend to educate a consumer on Apple products and often refer customers to JB Hi Fi. If Sony intends to open 19 stores this a real threat and we will take it up with them as we don’t like the idea of vendors opening their own branded retail entities. Overall, we don’t support the move and suspect it could become an issue”.
“In today’s marketplace consumers want retail choice. A Sony Central store does not deliver retail choice. Two or three stores in the past of not been a problem and I suspect that these stores are not kicking many goals when it comes to sales”. He said.
When Avenall was confronted by ChannelNews over his inaccurate reporting he three times said “I do not give you permission to use a tape recorder on this conversation”.
*According to Nielsen Digital Channelnews.com.au is the #1 consumer electronics web site in Australia. Current.com.au is not ranked in the Nielsen Top 30 web technology web sites. Among the retail trade web sites ranked in the top 30 are ARN, CRN and ChannelNews.