EXCLUSIVE: German research company GFK is set to be given restricted access to selected sales data from JB Hi Fi following a deal between the gaming industry and the consumer electronics retailer.
Late last GFK was stopped from collecting any form of data from JB Hi Fi stores after senior management described GFK as a “dangerous organisation” to do business with.
Under the new agreement GFK will only be allowed to collect four week old data from JB Hi Fi on gaming sales.
According to Terry Smart, CEO of JB Hi Fi, representation was made by the gaming industry “in particular software companies,” to allow collection of gaming sales.
JB Hi Fi, who is the largest seller of gaming software in Australia, agreed to a proposal which will see data handed over after four weeks, said Smart.
“We are definitely not letting GFK back into our stores to collect data across all categories. We are giving them access to selective data collection only, and only after four weeks” Smart said.
According to sources, GFK management have been telling the industry that they are “back in” with the mass retailer.
“This is not true” said Smart.
Several vendors have told ChannelNews that they are not happy with the accuracy of GFK data which can cost some vendors up to one million dollars a year after both JB Hi Fi and Retravision WA refused the research company access to their data.
Earlier this year, Scott Browning, Marketing Director at JB Hi Fi, said: “The information we have is confidential and while we do not mind sharing it with suppliers, we do not want to share it with GFK. You could say that we are moving to the dark side and that suits us because the Australian market is small and we are growing.
“Last year we grew 30 per cent and we do not want tier 2 or 3 competitors getting access to what we see as valuable information. It’s high risk dealing with GFK. We are very competitive and it is hard to justify doing business with them,” he said.
In the past, GFK Australia has tried to ban ChannelNews from exposing competitive information on consumer electronic sales. The company has also written to subscribers to its service threatening to terminate their access to information if they leak information to ChannelNews.
“The GFK Retail and Technology group have a serious issue on their hands and if one more major retailer denies them access to retail data, the industry as a whole will struggle, as they basically have a monopoly on retail sell-in and sell-out data. As a result, GFK knows how to charge for it,” said a subscriber to the service who primarily sells through Harvey Norman and JB Hi Fi.