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Big TV Brands Snub Specialist Channel With High Priced 4K & OLED TV's

By David Richards | Monday | 19/08/2013

TV brands Samsung, LG and Sony have snubbed the specialist channel in Australia despite all these organisations set to deliver high priced 4K and OLED TV's which normally appeal to the more affluent customers who visit specialist dealers.

Instead the mainstream TV manufacturers have chosen to invest in mass retailers such as Harvey Norman, JB Hi Fi and The Good Guys to sell their premium TV's which retail from $10,000 up to $40,000 with new instore displays which in some cases are manned by staff supplied by the TV manufacturer.  

With most of the new OLED and high priced 4K TV's set to go on sale in the last quarter manufacturers claim that the cost of doing business with individual owners of specialists stores is not warranted  versus doing business with a mass retailer.

However Len Wallis the CEO of Len Wallis Audio disagrees. He claims that mass retailers are making "big" demands of manufacturers "The want rebates, marketing support and for manufacturers to pay for floor space. "We simply ask for a margin, we give away floor space for free and we don't ask for marketing support". 

"Remember it was the customers who walk into specialist dealers who were the early adopters of plasma and full HD" said Len Wallis who is also the Chairman of CEDIA in Australia.

One option for the specialist channel is to form a CEDIA buying group via NARTA a move that Wallis is prepared to put to the CEDIA board next week.

Kay Spencer the CEO of Marta said she would consider such a move. 

An LG executive who was asked why his Company was snubbing specialist dealers said that LG could in the future offer specialist dealer's access to their new OLED Curved TV.

When asked why specialty dealers, who tout their trained sales floors and ability to explain new technologies to consumers, weren't included in the OLED launch the executive said "With all our product launches, we take a lot of time to look at the specific technology and the value that a specific partner has in the market place and at this stage we are concentrating on mass retailers." he said.

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