Skype who appear to have no faith in telecommunication carriers and hundreds of phone retailers in Australia have done the next best thing with the announcement that they are set to open their own online retail operation that will suck revenue out of hundreds of corner store communication retailers by competing head on with them.
And in a bigger blow to their long time partners they are also going to sell mobile phones and accessories.
A big advantage for Skype is that they have access to the databases of every Skype user and by directing them to their online shop they avoid paying a margin to retailers and third party carriers who have promoted their services in the past.
Dan Neary, Asia Pacific general manager and vice president for Skype claims that Australians have been demanding the service for some time. What has not been disclosed is the installed base in Australia for Skype or how much revenue they intend to generate via the stores.
Visitors to the site will be able to get access to Skype certified accessories from vendors such as Nokia, LG, Sony Ericsson and Samsung as well as headphones, web-cams and handsets, all products that are normally sold by the retail channel.
A retailer in Sydney’s Broadway where several phone retailers compete said” This is not good, we will stop selling Skype product. We have enough problems at the moment as people are not buying phones like they use to, business in not as good as last year. The Asian retailers of phones all talk to each other and I am sure that when the world gets out they will also stop selling Skype product. But the problem is that if we do Skype get the business so we have a problem either way”.