EXCLUSIVE: In a desperate move to shift stock Sony is set to slash the price of Sony Bravia TV’s, Blu ray players and their Sony Playstation consoles according to a senior executive inside a major retail partner of Sony. The move could spark a retail war said one observer.
Known for price gouging, the move comes as Sony struggles up against a surging Samsung and tough competition from both LG and Panasonic, who in past months have started to take market share away from Sony in the digital camera and handycam market as well as the all important TV market.
The news that Sony is set to slash prices has already leaked out to their competitors, with Mark Leathan the marketing manager of Samsung’s consumer electronics division confirming that they have also been told that Sony is set to make savage price cuts.
It has also emerged that both Companies will heavily promote HD and Full HD connectivity. With Samsung set to promote Full HD connectivity between their Blu ray players, Samsung phones with DLNA connectivity, home theatre kits, Samsung HD camera’s and Samsung TV’s spanning LCD, LED and plasma.
The new Samsung Full HD and HD TV’s, now include internet connectivity in several of their models as well as widgets TV, and in the future their TV’s could include IceTV an electronic program guide that is also capable of delivering movies from the likes of Blockbuster as well as overseas TV programs from a multitude of suppliers.
Leathan said “HD and Full HD is an important part of Samsung’s DNA we have HD connectivity between all our devices including mobile phones Blu ray players and our TV’s which include technology that senses an HD connection. We are currently talking to IceTV and we will be offering new network content in the future”.
“We are aware that Sony is looking to slash prices as we talk to the same retailers however we are not worried as we intend to launch extensive marketing activities going into the peak Xmas New Year period. We also have several new products coming that will excite the market”.
Warren Kim the product manager for TV at LG said “I cannot comment on what we are launching but yes, we will be launching new products and yes we have been buying up media running into the peak buying period”.
Despite the rumoured price cuts and aggressive marketing from vendors, one Harvey Norman franchisee has warned that discounting is not necessarily a good thing. “There is very little margin in TV’s and the last thing we need is less margin. Sony has a problem but discounting is not the answer. I am happy to sell less Bravia TV’s or Sony Blu ray players especially if they have a higher yield. The biggest problem for Sony is brand perception.
Where the brand was strong 18 months ago it is not as strong today. Consumers are aware that Sony products are expensive and with some this is not a bad thing, however many people are turning away from the brand because of aggressive marketing by the likes of Samsung and in particular Panasonic”.
Earlier this week Sony group sales manager Jeremy Senior was reported to have said “One thing we’re very conscious of with Christmas is, it’s not just the sell-in to November and lead up to 25 December, but January is also a very strong sales period. We want to make sure that we’ve got offers for that time of the year”.