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JB Hi-Fi Beefing Up Online Ahead of ‘Xmazon’
JB Hi-Fi is aiming to move the needle significantly on its online offering and supply chain as it prepares for Christmas, Amazon and the completed integration of The Good Guys business.
Electrical retailer JB Hi-Fi has acknowledged there is still plenty of room for improvement in its online offering ahead of Amazon’s imminent arrival, planning to invest in more online delivery options for its customers.
“I think we have improved a lot in online, but we want to challenge ourselves to do better,” Richard Murray, JB Hi-Fi CEO, told Fairfax Media. Murray said that while in-store sales account for 96 percent of sales, 80 percent of customers start their journey online. Murray also said that JB Hi-Fi has made a significant investment in its supply chain over the past year, and said that operational savings of between $15 and $20 million forecast with the merger with The Good Guys will be realised sooner than expected.
However, various analysts have suggested that JB Hi-Fi, along with others, face serious headwinds when Amazon launches in Australia. The concerns over the Amazon effect have undeniably impacted the company’s share price this year, dropping 20 percent this year despite strong general business performance.
According to our sources, Amazon is set to open its retail operations in Australia by mid-November, though the US behemoth is clothing its full plans in complete secrecy, even from suppliers and marketplace customers who have been told they will be given two weeks notice ahead of opening day. Opinions on the immediate and longer term impact in the Australian market vary wildly, exacerbated by the total shroud of secrecy Amazon uses to keep competitors (and customers) on edge.