updated 11:35 pm EST, Thu December 4, 2003
AU retail controversy
An interesting article appeared in this week's Computer Reseller News -- an Australian IT Retail magazine -- where a number of Apple resellers raised grievances regarding Apple's decision to sell through the retail chain David Jones, a MacNN reader reports.
The complete report:
Adam Steinhardt (of the Next Byte group), who regularly complains about Apple's policies and actions in this publication claimed it was "frustrating" to have more competition and that their "stock management will kill theirs[DJs]" Steve Bardel (My Mac) was also quoted as saying that "it's a joke; it's
the size of my toilet block in Flinders St at my store" and that he doubted the
partnership would last.
David Jones is part of the Coles Myer group, one of Australia's largest
retailers, one of the reasons they have managed this is through excellent stock
management. It was also amusing to see that Next Byte's advertising this week
focused primarily on obsolete and end of life models with which it would appear
they have been left with large quantities. David Jones also has the advantage
of a member card which offers long term interest free repayment options.
Steve Bardel, owner of the My Mac Group in Melbourne was quoted as saying it
would have a negative effect on his business as he already has to compete with
the Apple online store which undercuts the prices of it's resellers. A cursory
glance of the Apple online store showed most items to be at Recommended Retail
prices set by the Australian Distributors. It appears this means Apple Centres
regularly attempt to sell items above the suggested retail prices, a fact
reinforced by the advertised prices from Next byte this week The Griffin
PowerPod highlited in their advertising at $66, recommended retail price
$49.95. The Belkin battery backup for the iPod is also advertised at $88
recommended retail price $79.95. Whilst it is fair trade in Australia to
advertise products at any price the retailer wishes, it's hard for Apple
Centers to justify this criticism of apple for selling at Recommended Retail
Price when they select to set such high prices.
Additionally many of the Apple centres in Australia are currently advertising
G5 systems at little or no margin, from my experience in retail this is a very
bad sign, indicating large stock, little interest and approaching invoice
deadlines as they desperately try to achieve their quarterly sales targets or
face the loss of Apple Center accreditation. This kind of strategy is common to
turn goods back into cash to pay off existing debts. Or it could be a fear of
new products to be introduced in January leaving them with large quantities of
stock specifically the 1.6Ghz and single 1.8Ghz which seem to have had minimal
interest compared to the dual 2.0Ghz and recently introduced 1.8Ghz.