A Hi Fi war has broken out in Australia with Denon and Yamaha leading the charge to slash prices on their premium and mid range AV receivers, their actions were followed by Marantz and Harman Kardon. The only brand who appear not to have slashed their prices is Onkyo who are selling products up to 60% over what similar products are being sold for overseas.
Ken Dwyer, the CEO of Audio Products Australia who last month laid off five people, claims that market conditions are “tough” and that several other conditions including parallel importing and an uplift in Internet sales is contributing to an overall decline in the Hi Fi market.
In an email to dealers Dwyer, who has slashed prices up to 30 percent, said that the market has been pretty tough for the past six months but after negotations with Japanese Hi Fi company Denon, he was able to slash prices on several Denon models. He told ChannelNews that the rise in the Australian dollar had also contributed to their ability to deliver savings for Australian consumers.
He said “there has never been a better time than now to buy an AV receiver. They are cheaper than they have been for a long time.
He told dealers that the price cuts, which kicked in on 1 February 2011, would make the Denon AVR range “incredibly competitive” especially as new models were not due for another six months.
He told dealers ” I hope that this aggressive action creates some business opportunity, increased sales and profitability in the first half of 2011″.
Shortly after Denon slashed their prices Melbourne based QualiFi who sells the Marantz range followed suit with the price of their premium model Marantz SR 7005 reciever, dropped from $3,200 to $2,600.
Another price drop was with their SR 6005 which has been slashed from $2,300 to $1,999.
Michael Henriksen the CEO of QualiFi said: “the market is tough. Some distributors are still carrying stock that was invoiced to them when the dollar was $0.80. This has to be cleared through the channel”.
Geoff Mathews at Convoy, the distributor of Harman Kardon, said: “We have slashed the price of some models. We are also investing in a lot of instore marketing and merchandising so that consumers get a good understanding of how a reciever actually benefits them, especially when they attach an iPad, tablet or even their TV to a receiver. The sound and vision quality is lifted significantly.” he said.
Amber Technology the distributor of the Onkyo receiver brand, which is being sold in Australia at prices up to 60% higher than similar receivers are available for in the USA and Asia, has not returned our calls.
ChannelNews understands that Amber has not cut the price of their receivers in Australia according to information gleaned from Digital Cinema, a retailer of Onkyo receivers.