JB Hi-Fi Is Rolling Out 'Gaming Experience Zones'

Image: Supplied

Reporting season has finally kicked off in Australia, which means it's also time for JB Hi-Fi to let everyone know just how well the world of video games is doing for their business. Short answer: business is so good that they'll be doubling down on gaming over the next year.

The electronics retailer unveiled their full-year results for 2018-19 to investors this morning, and on just about all accounts things are pretty healthy. Overall sales and sales growth were both up for the year (4.1 percent to $4.72 billion and 2.8 percent comparable sales growth), but the biggest success for the company was a 23 percent bump in their online business.

Movie and music sales have continued to tank, mind you, with the company saying both sectors had suffered "double digit declines". All software sales fell by 7.3 percent, but the company noted that "strong growth in the Games Software category" alleviated the fall. Games hardware also contributed to a 5.4 percent jump in annual sales for the Hardware and Services category, which is all products sold by JB excluding games software, movies and music.

JB's investor presentation went on to note that JB would be investing even further in the gaming space, with "in-store gaming experience zones" to be rolled out at select stores over the next 12 months:

Image: JB Hi-Fi (ASX)

The presentation added that JB will start a national in-home TV installation service later this year as well, although no details about the program were included in the deck.

JB noted that as online purchases continued to cannibalise retail sales of traditional software — not games, in other words — they would slowly reduce their floorspace and inventory over time. "The JB Hi-Fi business will maintain a software presence in store while the category is still providing solid returns, whilst adjusting inventory, range and in-store space allocated to the category as appropriate," the company said.

The full presentation can be view on JB Hi-Fi's ASX page.


    They really should start the same practice with tv/movies as they do with new games - give them a 'launch day only' discount. As one of the few people who still prefers physical films, Target is always better priced on release (assuming it's not some wierd horror film or something Target would never sell)

      They do.

        Really though? Can't say I've ever seen it.. An example off the top of my head; Endgame is out today and it's $25/$30 at JB (DVD/Blu-ray), both of which are just the listed full price. Target meanwhile is selling for $20/$25.

          Its definitely happened in the past. Mad Max Fury Road was cheaper on day 1 by quite a bit, and I know I've gotten other movies cheaper in the first day or two as well. TV series are often cheaper early on as well.

          Its not every movie or TV show though, just as its not every game, so I expect its going to more be the studio pushing the product than JB being nice.

    TV installation service will probably mirror what The Good Guys did and just contract each job to an already existing TV installation business for a set fee that JB will get a cut from.

    Anyone looking to get an installation done should use Airtasker instead, more money to the people doing the job and most likely the same guy that JB would use anyway.

    When I was at The Good Guys they would charge $180 dollars for wall mounting a TV, all they did was make a phone call and send an email 5min work and the company made took a $50 cut.

    One of the guys who worked in TV's also did airtasker on the side, so instead of selling a installation through the company he would just direct the customer to airtasker and so the job himself.

      Well jb own the good guys so I’d imagine it will be an identical service

    Gotta say, JB's had the better deals and range compared to EB for a while now, so I'm not surprised they are capitalising on that momentum.

    Finally kicked off? We're we all desperately waiting for the day or something?

    Dick Smith used to have something similar in the 2000s. Dick smith powerhouse i think it was called.

    They had PS2's, Gamecubes and Xbox consoles set up with screens and stuff.

    It doesn't address the biggest issue at JBHIFI.... The massive wait times.

    I mean I got to wait up to 10 minutes just to get customer service and that is not counting the time just finding the customer service, I mean just to get anything now you need the customer service to unlock the item off the shelf.

    Even if you order online for pickup the wait time can be ridiculous, I had to wait 20 minutes get the item that I ordered hours ago and stated is ready for pickup.

    THE WORST is trying to return a faulty laptop and wait over 1 hour doing redicoulous tests and then showing them the laptop error in one minute, but no they must do tests that show nothing and show them I can recreate the same issue on the same display model too. I had to get management and yell before action was taken.

    Yet you wonder sales are tanking and people go off online sales when you must set aside massive time most of the time when you know what you want to get and know where it is but stuck with waiting on customer service that short staffed and too many customers all require them to buy something.

    I MEAN it gives me a head ache when I come in office clothes and I am looking to find staff and I get at least 5 customers if I work at JBHIFI each time I visit because customers are struggling to find actual customer service.

    Ooh, maybe this means they'll stock more than three amiibos at a time.

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