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JB Hi-Fi Boss Warns TV Stock Shortages Aren’t Going Away

JB Hi-Fi boss Richard Murray has warned TVs and other electronics will suffer indefinite stock shortages in Australia as unprecedented demand and pandemic supply delays continue to plague the industry.

After posting bumper results for JB Hi-Fi group’s half-year performance, CEO Murray revealed the company’s extraordinary sales surge has its pitfalls.

“Certainly for the last few months if there was one category that’s been a challenge it’s TVs,” Murray told The Sydney Morning Herald.

“We’ve had such continued demand globally and panel manufacturers are trying to get out as much volume as they can.”

The retail boss said TVs are the category hit hardest by the supply chain issues and the stock shortage will only be worsened when TV manufacturers launch next-generation models and demand for parts increases.

While other electronics and white goods are suffering minor supply chain delays, Murray said TVs are undoubtedly the most affected category – with The Good Guys especially struggling to get inventory in-store.

“This will be a constant challenge for us. While we have elevated sales, the global supply chain for consumer electronics is working as hard as it can. Suppliers have done a remarkably good job, all things considered,” Murray added.

JB Hi-Fi’s website appears to show quite a few TVs from brands such as Samsung, Hisense and Ffalcon are available now. There are also a number which are not in stock.

If the supply in Australia dries out, consumers may be forced to turn to online marketplaces such as Gumtree and Facebook, where smart TVs are in abundance.

But the supply issues don’t seem to have hampered JB Hi-Fi’s bottom line, after the group posted soaring sales in its half-year results.

Online sales for the entire group – which owns JB Hi-Fi Australia, JB Hi-Fi New Zealand and The Good Guys – were up by 161 per cent to $678.8 million, while earnings before interest tax (EBIT) were up 76 per cent to $462.8 million.

For JB Hi-Fi Australia, total sales for the period grew by 23.3 per cent to 3.36 billion, with demand for key growth categories including small appliances, computes, visual and gaming boosting sales.

Online sales for the Australian arm also more than tripled to $516.6 million, or 15.4 per cent of total sales.

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