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INSIGHT:Why Is TCL’s TV Division Struggling In Australia

TCL’s Mobile division is flying in Australia with the launch of new smartphones and more products to be announced later this week, the unlock key is marketing and brand positioning something that their Melbourne TV division appears to be lacking as they struggle to compete in the Australian TV market.

While the Sydney based mobile operation is out there engaging with local media Companies the TV division which is living off the success of their deal with JB Hi Fi for the Ffalcon TV range which replaced the retailers Soniq former house brand range.

They are also relying on a Hong Kong based PR Company to spruik their case because of a lack of investment in local Australian marketing.

The success story and some say the saviour of TCL’s local TV operation has been a decision by JB Hi Fi to buy the Ffalcon range of TV’s from TCL’s OEM division.

Questions have already been asked as to why JB Hi Fi went with a brand name owned by TCL as opposed to creating their own unique brand name.

This would have allowed them to source supply during COVID 19 from other suppliers as opposed to having to deal with TCL who have struggled to deliver supply to the big TV retailer.

In Australia TCL is seen as struggling TV brand despite being the #1 brand in the USA and #2 globally behind Samsung this say observers is due to poor marketing and a lack of engagement by TCL Australia marketing personnel.

In Australia Rafael Mayen, National Marketing Manager TCL Australia has struggled to take on the likes of Hisense and brands such as Hitachi and Philips which outsell the TCL branded TV’s in Australia.

Even the Brauhn TV brand which is sold at Aldi outsells TCL branded TV’s.

At a retail level JB Hi Fi staff use the TCL branded TV’s to point out that their house brand Ffalcon range is made by TCL but is 30% cheaper despite coming off a TCL production line.

Last week senior TCL executives in Shenzhen told ChannelNews that TCL had sold their OEM manufacturing business which assemble the Ffalcon TV range to concentrate on production of TCL TV’s for the fast growing US market where unlike Australia the demand for TCL branded products is surging including demand for their new range of TCL smartphones.

Some observers also question as to why TCL has not merged their operations in Australia mobile, TV and appliances despite a move by management globally to bring together overseas subsidiaries into one operation.

New TCL Soundbar

This week the Company is set to use the IFA Digital trade show in Berlin to announce new Mini LED TV’s powered by a new TCL AiPQ Engine Gen 2 processor, they will also announce a new Ray Danz soundbar and new appliances including several SmartHouse solutions that ChannelNews was shown during a visit last year to the Companies Shenzhen headquarters in China.

Unlike Australia TCL’s global TV division has delivered impressive TV sales figures worldwide with the local Company claiming that they were #1 in March 2021 in the Australian market and that Q1, 2020 sales were up 14.3%. ChannelNews understands that more than 68% of these sales were made up of JB Hi Fi’s Ffalcon brand.

Sales of TCL branded TV’s have not been broken out or provided to ChannelNews with archrival Hisense significantly outselling TCL.

In Q1 2020 alone, 4.27 million TCL branded TVs were sold into the US market with TCL QLED TV sales increasing 217.1% YoY.

In the US retail market share, TCL brand TV ranked No.2 in Q1 2020.

In terms of the expanding global emerging market, TCL TV sales were up by 14.3% Q1 YoY.

In Europe, TCL has also enjoyed a sale volume increase from Italy of 16%, Germany 15%, Czech 100%, Poland 38%, UK 100%, and in France we reinforced our ranking as No. 3 in terms of market share.

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