EXCLUSIVE: Exposed How Sharp Jacked Up TV Sales By Refunding Staff 100% To Shop At JB Hi Fi.
Sharp Corporation Australia, who are now out of the TV business, were so desperate to prop up their sales numbers prior to the axe falling. that they got staff to buy Sharp TV’s from JB Hi Fi stores and then refunded them 100% of the purchase price.
Emails revealed to ChannelNews by insiders reveal that Deputy Managing Director Joe Constantino, authorised Sandra Woodcock the Manager of Human Resources and Facilities at Sharp Australia, to issue a “Special Staff Pricing” email in an effort to sell through 500 TV’s at JB Hi Fi after both Harvey Norman and The Good Guys stopped stocking Sharp TV’s.
In one email Woodcock writes, “We have the opportunity of securing a multimillion dollar deal from JB Hi Fi “…. but there is a catch she said”.
She then urged Sharp staff to visit a JB Hi Fi store and that Sharp Corporation Australia would then offer staff a full 100% refund on their purchase. She even urges staff to “not forget about family & friends” everyone can be a winner she said.
She added “We will provide a full refund on your JB Hi Fi purchase price and then allow you to put the items through our ERP facility at the special staff price and pay it off over 12 months”.
She also said that as an “extra sweetener” staff who had “salary sacrifice money” for Company products could use that sacrifice money to buy a Sharp TV from the mass retailer.
How the scheme was set up to work was that if staff purchased a Sharp TV for $2,496, they got a full refund 100% refund as well as the option of a staff funded purchase plan.
Staff had to submit an EPP Sales Order through the HR department for $1,987.70 ex GST.
The remaining amount was then paid off over 12 months via a $90 a month deduction from an employee’s salary.
Contractors were not offered the deal.
The deal spanned the six models that JB Hi Fi were ranging at the time.
Woodcock, begged staff to “do their best to negotiate the best price you can from JB Hi Fi” as this would minimise the “extra expense” to Sharp Australia.
Staff were told that strict conditions applied to the offer.
Woodcock wrote in her email to staff “Staff are not to tell the store about the special staff pricing arrangement”.
She also instructed them not to tell any other retailers that Sharp were selling products, about the offer.
She told staff “Staff should not purchase from JB Hi Fi at a price higher than JB Hi Fi’s online price”.
It’s not known whether the Sharp Corporation in Japan knew about the buyback scheme that was run over two consecutive years.
It’s also not known whether the sales were actually counted as genuine sales by Joe Constantino who was Sales and Marketing Director and then Deputy Managing Director when the scheme to prop up sales was being executed.
ChannelNews understands that the questionable program cost Sharp millions of dollars.
Constantino who has taken to questioning staff about leaks to ChannelNews has at this stage not commented for this story.