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Tuesday, 04 December 2012 22:57

Store Wars: JB HiFi strikes back in clash for consumer cash Featured

The JB HiFi empire strikes back at the new retail management "rebels" at Dick Smith... The JB HiFi empire strikes back at the new retail management "rebels" at Dick Smith... Consumers should be the winners!

Dick Smith announced its surprise “under new management” sale for tomorrow (Wed 5 Dec) earlier today, only for JB Hi-Fi to respond through its mailing list with a “Wicked Wednesday” promotion as the titanic clash for consumer cash erupts into what will likely end up the most competitive yet!

We’re finally in December, with still three a bit a weeks until Christmas Day, and retailers are primed and ready to sell as much stock as they possibly can.

It’s the last golden month of mega end-of-year, Christmas, holiday shopping season, gift giving sales – which continues when the Boxing Day sales start with their own retail madness the day after Christmas.

Even the Reserve Bank is doing its bit to ease interest rate pressures and stimulate the economy, helping to put a little more cash back into the pockets of consumers who’ll hopefully then go and spend that money in stores, rather than perhaps more prudently paying off debt.

After all, people are still worried about any ongoing effects of the GFC and mini bust in the mining boom, at least to some degree – something that can only strike fear into the hearts of retailers worried they won’t get the end-of-year super sales and profit bonanza.

So, it’s no surprise to see JB HiFi striking back after Dick Smith’s surprise announcement of a “new management” sale on Wednesday, offering pricing from 10 to 50% off various products, from 5pm to 8pm only at almost all Dick Smith stores across Australia tomorrow, Wednesday the 5th of January, which we covered here earlier today.

While Dick Smith will be holding its sale in stores and online, JB HiFi is also using its site and stores to already promote all of its big "Wicked Wednesday" deals, something JB HiFi has for so long now so effectively using its site to do.

As always with these promotions, you have to do your homework – while wondering how much better the deals will become as we get closer to Christmas, and what the stock levels and availability is of whatever it is you’re hoping to get at the best price.

Let’s take a quick comparison between the deals from both companies

Dick Smith says its giving 50% off “surge boards, antennas, AV senders, wall mounts and HDMI cables”, items JB HiFi doesn’t seem to have a category for on its Wicked Wednesday page (although may well have discounts on these items, you’d have to contact your local store to find out!), while JB says it has a 50% discount on JBL Speaker Docks.

Dick Smith is giving 30% off navigation and a stack of other iPad accessories, keyboards, mice etc. JB HiFi says it is giving 20% off navigation, but 30% off Logitech and 40% off digital and pocket radios, with this last category not mentioned in Dick Smith's sale.

Both are willing to give 15% off some of their computers, although JB HiFi has a much better deal at 20% off iTunes cards than Dick Smith’s 10%.

Dick Smith says 10% off Digital SLR, JB specific Nikon Digital SLR at 10% off.

JB lists exclusions of particular brands from the discount deals, as it normal – for example, Apple computers and tablets aren’t being offered at these discounts, nor are Samsung computers or tablets, while Dick Smith specifies HP and Compaq computers only.

Meanwhile Dick Smith says “20% off ink, toner and printers”, while JB says 15% off Canon printers.

The value of “percentage off” deals also obviously applies to what the starting prices are.

So as always, it pays to shop around electronically, by phone and in person as required to get the best deal, while always asking for price matching or beating if you're at one store and belatedly discover another has a better deal - the store you're in might match or better it and save you the trip somewhere else.

The only question is as to whether they’ll be offering a keener pre-Christmas deal next week in the frenzied clash for the customer’s cash!

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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

One of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.

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