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Major Stock Problems Hurting CE Retailers Shares Fall

A visit to Harvey Norman, JB Hi Fi and Bing Lee stores reveals that major stock supply problems are starting to create problems for consumer electronics retailers.

Missing are certain TV brands networking gear and products such as Sony cameras, PlayStation 5, and Microsoft Xbox consoles.

Also in short supply are Apple and Samsung smartphones at carriers and select retailers.

It appears that Australian retailers are not alone in trying to manage inventory supply problems with analysts tipping a bleak start to 2022.

Last night in the USA Best Buy admitted that a shortage of some electronics items could hammer its business during the crucial holiday season.

They projected weaker-than-expected estimates for its latest quarterly sales.

The Best Buy forecast sent the retailer’s shares tumbling 13 percent, to US$119.27.

For many retailers, the issue is toll of shipping logjams, shuttered factories and a scarcity of components and raw materials that have ripped through global supply chains this year.

The Chairman of Camera House Jon Patterson said that several brands were struggling to deliver product and that he was not surprised that Sony had stopped taking orders from retailers.

Best Buy chief executive Corie Barry said that there were also major supply issues for mobile phones including stock from Apple and Samsung.

In Australia Microsoft and Sony have struggled to keep the latest versions of their gaming consoles in stock with both organisations selling stock direct online a move that cuts out margin for retailers.

Analysts are warning that Apple’s latest iPhones could be in short supply during the holiday season a move that will impact carriers such as Telstra, Optus, and Vodafone.

Some of these carriers have started ranging Chinese products that appear not to have the same supply problems.

“Getting hold of Apple’s latest iPhone or its new laptops is very challenging. These items should, in theory, be providing a nice lift to sales as the holidays approach, but stock levels remain low,” said Neil Saunders, managing director of research provider GlobalData.

Best Buy forecast current-quarter comparable sales between a fall of 2 percent and a rise of 1 percent, the midpoint of which was below estimates of a 0.1 percent rise, according to Refinitiv data.

Its shares fell the most in intraday trading since the pandemic-driven selloff in March 2020.

In the UK electricals retailer AO World has warned Xbox and PlayStation games devices, and iPhones could be in short supply this Christmas.

AO warned that these shortages as well as supply chain problems in the festive trading period would hit its profits.

On Tuesday, the firm posted a half-year pre-tax loss of £10m, down from an £18m profit in the six months last year.

That sent AO’s share price crashing by about 25% initially on Tuesday, although it had recovered slightly to stand about 15% lower by late morning.

Also, overnight Apple has confirmed to retailers in Asia Pacific that they will not be able to deliver new iPads in time for Christmas.

On Apple’s website it shows that consumers will have to wait until Jan. 14 for delivery — an eight-week wait.

Normally, consumers are able to receive their iPhones and iPads in three to five days because Apple ships its smartphones, tablets and other products by air, so delivery times are less affected by the severe congestion that is plaguing ports around the world.

This time it is the lack of components that are affecting both Apple and Samsung.

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