JB Hifi: 'If We Have To Go To A Direct Import Model... We Will'

JB Hifi Chairman Patrick Elliott, responding to a question at its annual general meeting, has claimed that when it comes to the sale of goods in its stores, it is prepared to go to a "direct import model" if suppliers don't reduce the cost price of their goods.

With the increase of online shopping, retailers are becoming increasingly protective of their market. GameTraders has been grey importing stock from Europe, and we can only assume that JB Hifi's threat amounts to the same thing - bypassing local distributors for cheaper cost prices.

"It remains open to JB Hi-Fi to import directly and bypass suppliers," stated Elliott.

GAME's Managing Director Paul Yardley mentioned a while back that moving to grey imports was a possibility, but stated that he'd prefer to develop the local industry as a whole. Game Traders on the other hand has taken to the grey imports market to compete with big outlets such as Big W.

JB Hi-Fi to put pressure on suppliers to lower prices [News]

Thanks Phill for the tip.


    Fucking bring it JB!

    If JB can get to within $5-10 of ozgameshop I will pay that bit extra for the convenience of not having to wait.... well, only if you're offering those prices in stores. If you start an online store that takes 2 weeks to deliver, I'll probably stick with ozgameshop.

      It's amazing how well you can communicate with just a bell and the ability to make angry faces :p

      Seriously though, you're 100% right.

      I'd say anything up to $10 more than Ozgameshop/Zavvi and I have no problems whatsoever making JB my go to place for gaming retail.

        ... I forgot to change my comment name back.

        There's also the magnetic security sticker thingies you can stick on the security alarms when places like EB don't serve you when you've been standing there in an empty store for half an hour. ;P (The explanations to the mall management aren't that fun afterwards though)

        Another reason to go online: you know you actually get served. 99% of the time, anyway.

          Yes, well, until your pre-ordered copy of Gears of War 3 doesn't turn up, and they tell you to wait for over five weeks before they'll consider offering you a refund... >:-(

            Of course, as soon as I post this, a package arrives.

            With one of the two copies I ordered...

      Hell yes, bring it on JB!

      They're big enough to effectively be their own distributor, cutting someone else's margin out of the picture. I reckon it's actually possible for JB, with the backing of their amazingly profitable software business, to cut electronics distributors out of the picture too. Everything from PCs and TVs to digicams and hi-fi stereo components could be sourced at *least* 10% cheaper, allowing a lower ticket price and lower-still negotiable price.

      They should probably start small though, with games, and see how it goes from there. Publishers set the rules for distribution, and if JB can show that their bottom line won't suffer I don't see why they wouldn't get on board.

      Ding ding ding ding ding!

      Last chance to look at me Hector...

      Exactly. If they can get within $5 of ebay/OzGameshop prices, I'll do it for the convinience. But anything more, no dice.

      Maybe it's just a strategy to increase their retailer margins. I'm not running a charity, whoever is selling games for the cheapest price can have my money. Even the $62 I paid for Skyrim was more than I would like.

    Kmart seem to have already taken on this model.

      No, they haven't.

      They just offset the loss by making money on the thousands of other products they sell.

        Have you been to Kmart lately? Half their shelf is filled with Euro imports. Case in point - their recent $24 copies of NBA Jam on Wii, they were Euro copies with an ACB (almost said OFLC :P) sticker on them. That's why I went to JB and price matched, because I am OCD about uniformity in my collection :P Plus they seem to end up with loads of crappy European budget games that don't otherwise get a release here.

    This is good news.

    Hopefully this will force the hands of local distributors and will continue to ripple all the way up to manufacturers.

    Sometimes only drastic measures like this get things changed from the status quo.

    I used to be a manager of a GameTraders store and to be forced purchase products from only 1 distributor (at times at a greater cost than what Big W was selling) was completely unfair.

    I'm not surprised they're considering this... I love JB and generally pick up a few things while I'm there.

    JB seems to get a majority of the video game sales at both chatswood and hornsby around me, and I see a lot of sales at the Galleries Victoria in CBD; they'd take the market if they were $20 cheaper than everyone else

    On the otherhand, if the games were cheaper i'd probably be broke!

    This is great news to pressure the distributers. personally i would buy all my games from there if they did what other ppl have already said. bring on competition.

    I wish this could kill eb games. How I loathe them!

      I second that. Well, maybe not loathe, but close.

      I heard EB are early next year moving to a similar system and be selling new import games for about $70 as "pre owned".I over heard 2 area managers talking to a store manager.So they will still be around, I think JB will have to import just to be competitive.

        only problem with that, is they will sell them unsealed.................oh wait they do that for alot of the new games anyways.

          JB will have to start doing that as well. Because legally, they'll have to have the Australian rating sticker on the case. And you can't do that without actually taking off the wrap. -.-

    JB already do grey import some games, mainly those that didn't get a local release. It's how I got A Boy And His Blob for Wii. Anything to give a reality check to whoever is setting local pricing around here is a win in my book. For too long we have suffered under the yoke of unfair pricing schemes. I for one say enough is enough! We shall fight them where it hurts most.. their wallets.

    I sincerely hope this isn't PR hot air, and they actually intend to follow through with something like this. Pleasepleasepleasepleasepleasepleasepleaseplease

    But will this mean they'd still be hypocritical, when it comes to accepting imported games as trade-ins? Seems too often they can't decide whether to accept or reject them, when they themselves have the same grey-import in stock.

    This would make me shop at a JB again.

    *Looks at his 2 week waiting time for Dark Souls*


    BAM! and the dirt is gone!

    or in this case, the prices will slowly reduce...

    or should I say...
    Roooound 1, FIGHT!


    The linked article doesn't specifically mention games; only "electronics products" and "TVs." While this could hypothetically include games, it might not necessarily.

    Not going to happen, absolutely hot air.

    They are still going to have to buy the games from the company, just overseas. They are still going to have to agree on a price, which is beneficial to both. It's not like JB are going to start buying all their stock from ozgameshop etc.

    The retailers are kidding themselves, Australia is not a large enough market.

    Are JB already doing this in some cases? or are other retailers severely inflating their prices (not looking at anyone in particular... EB)!

    I wanted to get Rage on 360 last week. JB had it for $79, EB for $109. How was it possible that JB could have it for so much less? Was it because they have been grey importing, or was it because EB are severely inflating their prices?

    Either way, I couldn't make it to JB, so I made EB price match it for me.

    Normally I would buy from ozgameshop, but like the other comments above, if I can get the game for up to $10 more in store at JB, I would much rather go there than have to wait.

      they either sell at at a loss of around $5 per game or they made a deal with the supplier in buying so many copies at a reduced price (which would be a few)

      They justify it by offsetting the loss on other purchases the customer could possibly make.

        Whilst I can understand the logic for K-Mart, I don't think JB have the sort of high-margin low price impulse buy items this requires. I'm pretty sure they just have a high-volume low margin business model.

          IT really dosent mattr how many they sell, they are selling it at a loss. They need to add-on other items to make money. I think too many people have misconceptions about how much the cost price is on these games. If they sell them at cost price or below, there isnt much point of trading, there is no profit.

      Dude I got Rage Anarchy Edition for $64 brand new from Harvey Norman

    woohoo; glad my tipping could be of service Serrels! Pop a shirt for me :P

    GameTraders prices are ridiculous anyway.

    Coles and Woolworths do this for Beer already and I'm happy about that. I could trade alcoholic for pro gamer.

    I buy virtually every game from the UK atm, I'd be happy to pay a bit more to buy locally. But not $40+ like it is atm.

    F*** y'all!!!!

    Oh JB, you'e done it again



    It didn't mention games at all in that article. If it was software I'd say they would start with CDs as there is no difference between CDs whereas DVDs/Games still have region locking.

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