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Supply of LCD TVs is drying up with vendors being accused of favouring mass market retailers over the specialist channel.

At the high end of the 1080p LCD TV market the situation could get worse with several major brands admitting that supply of the highly popular 42 & 46″ HD 1080p models could be short during the last two peak buying quarters of the year.

Len Wallis of Len Wallis Audio said, “We are almost out of stock of LCD TVs. We are currently talking to suppliers including brands we have not stocked before. If this is to continue supply could get very tight during the next two quarters.”

Scott Browning at JB Hi Fi said recently, “Our business is growing right across the board however in the flat panel market supply is tight and vendors like Samsung and Sony are juggling stock levels of around 4 weeks. We are giving customers 7 rain cheques and while this is disruptive it is not resulting in any loss of business.”

 

A Melbourne based CE retailer said “The specialist retailers is set to feel the pain of no LCD TV stock more than the mass retailers. It is clear that vendors are giving the Harvey Normans and JB Hi Fi priority over supply. All we can hope for is that the plasma vendors have stock of 42″ and 50″ 1080p plasma. Prices will rise as a result of the supply problems.”

Mark Beard General Manager of the AV division at Samsung said, “Supply is tight and at this stage we are uncertain as to how long this will last. We are not alone in having supply problems.”

A Harvey Norman store operator in Sydney said “Supply is very tight. We are even being told that Sony will be out of Bravia TVs with built in digital tuners by the end of June.”

Carl Rose the Managing Director of Sony Australia said, “Stock is tight in the channel as there is a lot of demand. We recognise that the bulk of sales will be 1080p… We have around 2-3 weeks supply at the moment but that is drying up because of demand.”

Steve Rust Managing Director at Panasonic said “Because of the success of our recent advertising campaign we have taken to air freighting panels so supply is tight. During the next two weeks we will be rolling out a new range of 100Hz 32″1080p HD LCD TV’s and we are confident that these will sell through very quickly.”

Laurie Nolan Marketing Manager at Sharp said, “We have no supply problems across all our  LCD TV range despite the fact that we have grown our market share significantly during the first 6 months of the year”.

Set to take advantage of the shortfall in supply of LCD TV’s is Toshiba who recently took over distribution of the Toshiba brand in Australia from Castel. Mark Whittard the Managing Director of Toshiba said, “We are in an excellent position to supply stock. We will very soon be rolling out our new range of LCD TV’s along with two new HD DVD players.”

While researching this story several major retailers told SHN that they will move to new vendors who have stock of LCD TV’s rather than go without supply. They also said that prices were set to rise for LCD TV’s that were in short supply.

A big beneficiary of this could be Toshiba who currently, do not supply consumer electronic products to several major retailers because of the past relationship that Castel had with major mass market retailers such as JB Hi Fi.

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