Credit Suisse has released its latest Australian Consumer Electronics Pricing index, which compares the prices of various electronic product categories across Australia's leading retailers. In an outcome that will surprise few, Harvey Norman has once again topped the list as the country's most expensive retailer, while online stores remain the most affordable.
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The chart below shows average pricing trends across Dick Smith, JB Hi-Fi, Kogan Technologies and Harvey Norman for identical products.
As you'd doubtlessly expect from an online retailer, prices were lowest at Kogan across all major electronics categories. Harvey Norman, meanwhile, was consistently the most expensive electronics retailer in the survey. In particular, the report found accessory pricing to be materially above those of its competitors. Although prices were more competitive in the categories of cameras and tablets, it remained above its competitors in advertised prices.
JB Hi-Fi and Dick-Smith Electronics showed similar pricing to each other, although products from Dick Smith was slightly cheaper across the board.
They say all publicity is good publicity, but we're willing to bet this is a sentiment Harvey Norman's CEO would strongly disagree with. Late last year, the struggling retail giant was blasted in a scathing CHOICE survey in the areas of staff availability, product knowledge and returns process. It managed to rank rock-bottom below the likes of Big W, Bunnings, David Jones, Dick Smith, The Good Guys, JB Hi-Fi, Kmart, Myer and Target.
In some good news (for consumers), price deflation in most consumer electronics categories has accelerated during March and April after a fairly stagnant first half of the year. "The consumer electronics products in our survey are currently deflating at an annualised rate of 10.1% pa, on average," claims the report. One of the biggest price droppers was the tablet category, which are currently deflating at an annualised rate of 24.1 per cent.
Which electronics retailers do you find to have the best and worst prices? Let us know in the comments section below.