EXCLUSIVE: Vendors who are asked to pay up to $1M dollars for access to GfK data are now concerned over the accuracy of the European company’s information, with one major Japanese TV vendor claiming that the GfK information is “plain wrong”.

Bill Crichton, Managing Director of Sanyo, claims that he sells over 170,000 TVs a year via retailers like Big W. Yet despite this, his brand is lumped into “others” when other brands like TEAC or Hisense, who he believes are selling significantly less, are broken out as a separate brand and measured in the top 10 rankings.

Other major vendors have told ChannelNews, that they are concerned over the accuracy of the GfK numbers after JB Hi Fi and Retravision WA stopped the German company from collecting data in their stores late last year.

Narta, who are responsible for buying over $3 billion dollars worth of consumer electronics, appliances and IT goods said that not all of their retailers have sales data collected by GFK.

Currently Narta represents 32 retail groups who between them have hundreds of retail outlets. Among Narta members are the likes of, David Jones, Bing Lee and Clive Peeters.

In the case of Sanyo, GfK executives have confirmed that sales of Sanyo branded TVs are recorded as sales by “Others”. They are refusing to say why.

Crichton said “GfK data is expensive data, up to $1 million dollars for big brand vendors. In the TV market we have between 6 and 8% of around 2.4 million flat panel TV’s yet we are being counted as others. There is also several retailers whose sales are not being monitored by GfK so there data has to be plain wrong” he said.


Peter Burnham, Marketing Director at TEAC, told ChannelNews that in 2009 he sold around 50,000 flat panel TVs. 

According to GfK data, TEAC was ranked 6th behind Chinese brand Hisense and Toshiba. Sanyo, who sold over 130,000 flat panel TVs, are not ranked in the GfK’s brand top ten for TV sales.

“We know that GfK data is flaky as several retailers where we sell our product are not measured. In 2009 we did around 50,000 flat panel TVs. GfK, depending on the month, have us in 5th or 6th position in Australia”. 

In the digital camera market, a major vendor who does subscribe to GfK has pointed out inconsistencies in GfK digital camera data. He cites the latest 52 page report from GfK for digital cameras that highlights Samsung as a major brand in the compact camera market, yet when it comes to breaking out individual sales of units, Samsung appears to have been dumped into other.

ChannelNews, which has the complete GfK report, was unable to see how GfK had measured Samsung as a brand alongside brands like Canon, Nikon and Sony whose products are broken out.

The digital camera vendor, who does not want to be identified, said “The GfK data is not an accurate reflection of digital camera sales in Australia. We are seriously considering whether we continue subscribing to data that is devoid of key sales such as in JB Hi Fi stores where a lot of digital cameras are sold. We have been made aware that two other retailers are considering their relationship with GfK and if one of these retailers goes the same way as JB Hi Fi or Retravision it will create a big headache for the industry when it comes to accurate sell out data”.

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