EXCLUSIVE: JB Hi Fi To Reshape Their Hi Fi Business 50 New Hero Sound Stores
CEO Terry Smart said “We are not cutting back on Hi Fi products, we are moving to sell more of what customers want and that means expanding our range of wireless audio products Vs the traditional floor standing speaker” he said.
The move will see inventory for several traditional HI Fi brands that do not have a wireless or networked product cut back.
“We see sound as a growth category and we are currently expanding our product range to cater for what consumers want today. We have had a lot of success with headphones where we have seen consumers migrate to premium brands because they are looking for better quality sound. We believe this will happen in the wireless audio market as more Hi Fi brands deliver a new generation of products”.
He acknowledge that sales of traditional receivers and speakers were declining in favour of a new generation of sound gear.
According to several research studies the sound category is set to grow between 10% and 16% during the next three years.
The worldwide home audio market – comprising wireless speakers, speaker docks, A/V receivers, integrated audio systems and speaker bar (units containing multiple speakers intended for use with the TV) – is on target to achieve 10% growth in 2014 and continues to exert a positive force on the home consumer electronics segment according to Futuresource Consulting.
“As consumers demand more flexibility from their music and audio – be it through music accessibility, discoverability, sharing their favourite songs or simply wanting a richer experience from their television or attached audio source we will see growth in this category” said Rasika Iyer, Research Director at Futuresource Consulting.
“This year we’re going to see home audio products ship around 60 million units worldwide, with a trade value of $7.3 billion dollars. At a time when many segments of the CE industry seem to be driving with the brakes on, home audio represents an enormous opportunity for manufacturers and retailers alike.”
Wireless speakers and speaker bars lead the charge, currently growing at 181% and 81% respectively. The market is also witnessing a transition away from dedicated speaker docks to wireless speakers, with dock shipments expected to decline by nearly 20% in 2013.
“There are still winners and losers in the home audio segment,” says Iyer, “with traditional home audio systems continuing to lose out to speaker bars and wireless speakers, and CD playback being outmanoeuvred by the availability of wireless audio devices at affordable prices.”
“The growth of smartphones and solid music streaming services like Spotify, Deezer and Pandora. In particular, Spotify who has partnered with home audio companies such as Harman Kardon, Yamaha, Pioneer and Sonos to introduce Spotify Connect, a premium music service is set to grow the demand for quality sound products in the Hi Fi market.” He said.