Sales were up 10.3% in Australia (and NZ) for the first four months of 2013, while comparable sales rose 3%.
In its Macquarie Australia investor conference presentation given by CEO Terry Smart on Friday, JB revealed the key growth drivers including OLED, Ultra High Def, TVs, smartphones like HTC One, and headphones.
On the TV front – Smart TV, big screen, OLED, Ultra HD (or 4K TV), will be the big growth categories, JB predicts.
In its telco department – new Android handsets in the form of Samsung S4, HTC One, as well as a “potential new iPhone” will be the big sellers.
In computers – there will be “continued growth in tablets, eReaders, Google Chromebooks, new form factor notebooks,” which include the likes of Ultrabooks and tablet Ultrabooks in one.
On the audio front, streaming music systems, Wi Fi & Bluetooth enabled devices will be hot sellers, and Near Field Communication ready hardware. There will also be “continued growth in headphones and device accessories.”
Sports cams, Wi Fi enabled, mirrorless, DSLRs will be the big camera categories.
New consoles from both Sony and Microsoft (expected in the first half of FY14) will also kickstart its gaming division.
Its ‘soft’ trial of the appliance market in the form of ‘JB Home’ stores (one opened in Sydney’s Moore Park recently) will leverage the power of the brand and is a circa $4 billion market opportunity.
“These categories are fast becoming a technology and fashion story,” the retailer noted – as washing machines like LG SmartWashers, smartfridges from Samsung, Panasonic and LG and other kitchen appliances become Wi Fi enabled and develop sexy ‘smart’ features.
Early sales results have been “encouraging”, with good growth from appliance categories, and are ahead of initial expectations, the retailer told the investor conference.
However, JB also says many product categories still have “above average growth opportunities”.
“Convenient and easily accessible locations with high foot traffic generates impulse sales” it says, as it opens new stores in areas including Sydney and Melbourne.
The yellow retailer, famous for its aggressive discounting, wants to maintain its “unique model, high energy, engaging and entertaining retail format.”
It is also predicting strong growth in its recently expanded Commercial division aimed at Enterprise and Education clients, has a potential sales opportunity at circa $500m.
However, despite the upbeat presentation, JB Hi-Fi remains cautious:
“While we have seen good sales momentum in the half to date, we still remain cautious on the outlook.”
On the issue of gross margin: Smart said, “gross margin in the second half 2013 has improved on the pcp however the market is expected to remain competitive”