EXCLUSIVE:Sony Try To Nobble Retail Partners With Direct Sell ‘Price Matching’
Sony Australia who already have a questionable reputation having been fined in the past by several Government departments for their business practises, is now price matching online in what appears to be a blatant attempt to take on their retail partners spanning TVs, audio, cameras, and Sony PlayStation consoles.
Sony Australia has not said how much the Japanese Companies online direct business is up in Australia, however insiders have told ChannelNews that it is “In excess of 500%” during the past 18 months.
This is despite sales falling and profits surging at the local subsidiary in 2021.
Management at the local subsidiary that is controlled out of Singapore, have not said why they are not happy with their retail partners, or why they have decided to implement ‘Price Matching’ in an effort to secure deals directly up against both their mass market retailers and specialist dealers who buy their premium Sony TVs via Audio Active.
Current employees have told ChannelNews, that Sony a key supplier to several leading CE retailers including Harvey Norman, JB Hi Fi, The Good Guys and several Narta members as well as the likes of Camera House and Teds in the camera market “Has a clear ambition to sell as much Sony product as possible via their own online store or via their own shops.” said one insider.
A visit to the Sony web site reveals not only an expanded direct sell operation but a move by Sony to direct consumers to their own stores as opposed to their retail partners that helped grow the brand in Australia in the first place.
At the top of the Sony web site in a white on red banner is the words “Price Match available on certain products.”
They also offer free shipping and a visit to the nearest retail store tag only reveals only Sony stores.
In the past Sony listed several retail partners where consumers could buy their products.
The move to sell direct at the expense of mass market retail partners appears to be paying off for Sony Australia.
In their latest financial filings, it’s revealed that profits in 2021, jumped to $8.57M from a previous loss in 2020 of $367,000.
This was despite a fall in revenues from $56.78M in 2020 to $540.16M in 2021.
In their annual report Sony Australia management claimed that the local business had, “minimal disruption” and “no significant disruptions” during COVID-19.
They also said The supply chain of key products has not been materially affected by COVID-19”.
“This appears to not be what retail partners have been told or are experiencing right now” said one observer.
At mass retailers Sony product have been in short supply during COVID-19 with insiders claiming Sony stock is instead being ‘prioritised” to the Companies direct sell operation.
A visit to several Sony retail partners reveals that several Sony products in particular audio products are out of stock.