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Recently JB Hi-Fi decided to do away with the traditional ‘local distributors’ process and undertake the parallel imports road to sell a selected range of imported video games in-store at reduced prices. According to JB Hi-Fi, its decision to source some video-game titles directly, as opposed to utilising local Australian distributors, comes from a desire to provide customers with a competitive price.
Kotaku spoke with JB’a Marketing Director Scott Browning, in regards to the decision, who confirmed that JB Hi-Fi has confirmed that this is the case, and he also explains why.
Said Scott Browning:
“I can confirm that JB Hi-Fi has recently began to source some titles directly from overseas import wholesalers instead of the traditional local distributors.”
“In some cases consumers could purchase titles cheaper from overseas than we could locally via the licensed distributor. We have decided to act in accordance with our cheapest prices promise and source selected popular titles directly from overseas wholesalers in order to provide these prices to our customers.”
Not only is JB Hi-Fi retailing imported games in-store, it’s selling them at reduced cost, and advertising them as “import games” at “great prices”. Other retailers selling parallel imports however tend to show much more discretion about the practice, and seemingly use imported merchandise as a method of increasing their profit margin on stock. JB Hi-Fi is doing it in a seemingly far more honest way.
Browning further added:
“Our policy is to be transparent and pass these savings directly on to our customers by observing global pricing realities.”
“For JB Hi-Fi it is a critical matter of maintaining trust with our customers that we are prepared to do whatever it takes to achieve a globally competitive retail offer.”
“We remain very positive about the outlook for retail gaming in Australia.”
The iGEA, which represents Australian video-game publishers and distributors, said parallel importing into Australia is not a new issue. However, iGEA CEO Ron Curry said that “grey importing” does impact local publishers and distributors, by taking away from locally generated revenue.
Curry said that local publishers and distributors need a level of support from Australian retailers, to maintain their survival in the local market.
Last month, the Australian government announced plans to investigate high tech and game prices in Australia.
JB Hi-Fi Comments On Its Decision To Sell Imported Games In-Store – [Kotaku]
JB Hi-Fi Now Selling Parallel Imports In Store – [Kotaku]
Aussie government pushing forward with tech/game price inquiry – [GameSpot AU]
Australian game retailers speak out on grey imports – [Cnet]