While Amazon’s arrival in late 2017 caused considerable anxiety among electronics and appliance specialist retailers, so far the global giant’s expansion into Australia has been less disruptive than initially feared. This is partly because Amazon has not been particularly aggressive in terms of its range and pricing, but also reflects the fact that while online shopping is rapidly gaining popularity, most Australians still prefer to buy electronics and appliances in-store.
Though an economic slowdown may temper the channel’s expansion somewhat, the rapid pace of technological innovation should continue to support growth in electronics and appliance specialist retailers current value sales over the forecast period. Australians are showing increasing interest in multifunctional electronics and appliances that offer high levels of connectivity, voice activation etc.
Competition in electronics and appliance specialist retailers is only likely to intensify over the forecast period as Amazon strengthens its presence in Australia and consumer expectations shift in line with the constant evolution of technology. Accordingly, it will become increasingly important for retailers to be able to quickly identify and respond to emerging trends and changes in the behaviour of key target groups.
Following its acquisition of the Good Guys chain the previous year, JB Hi-Fi Ltd became the top company in electronics and appliance specialist retailers in 2017. It strengthened its lead in 2018, with new outlet openings and a pricing strategy made more competitive by the increased buying power and cost efficiencies that resulted from the 2016 acquisition contributing to a healthy rise in the company’s overall value share.
While Harvey Norman remained the leading chain in electronics and appliance specialist retailers in value terms in 2018, its overall share was down on 2017 and sales were static. This was partly because a sizeable proportion of its revenues come from furniture and homewares, making the chain among those most exposed to the downturn in the Australian housing market.
Godfreys, an iconic Australian retailer specialising in vacuum cleaners, continued to struggle in 2018. In addition to closing several outlets and recording a steep decline in current value sales, it was delisted from the Australian Securities Exchange after being taken back into private ownership as part of an effort to improve its fortunes.
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This industry report originates from Passport, our Retailing market research database.