COMMENT: Online retailer Ruslan Kogan the CEO of Kogan Technologies, has bet mass market consumer electronics retailer JB Hi Fi $1M that they will not be selling Apple products in 2014.JB Hi Fi CEO Terry Smart on the other hand is refusing to comment and like any smart CEO he is refusing to engage with an individual who is desperate to get attention at any cost.
Kogan who has a reputation for being a motor mouth, knew before he made the bet that JB Hi Fi would not engage with him, so in essence his bet was safe from being taken up, however had he taken on Gerry Harvey and his Harvey Norman chain, there was every possibility that Gerry who is an out and out betting man, would have taken him up on the bet, just to embarrass, Kogan, who is desperate for attention and wants free publicity for his web site which sells cheap made in China products.
Ideally I would have loved JB HI Fi to have taken him up on the bet, on the condition that each party put one million dollars in an interest bearing trust account managed by a third party. I doubt whether Kogan would have come to the party as I suspect that he does not have the odd million to splash around on a stupid bet that he stands little chance of winning.
While JB Hi Fi and Harvey Norman spend millions every month on advertising and marketing, Kogan is struggling to get attention because he has poor consumer electronic and IT sales when compared to his competitors, which is why he needs cheap publicity stunts to keep his name out there.
I also suspect that the JB Hi Fi web site alone, has sold more products in a year than Kogan has sold in three which is over 200,000 according to Kogan.
What Kogan is claiming is just plain stupid and it’s obvious that he lacks knowledge of t5he Australian market which is made up of only 22 million consumers and 7 million households.
For Apple, to only allow their products to be purchased from an Apple store or web site, which is what Kogan is claiming will happen between now and 2014 would be a suicidal move, in a market the size of Australia.
Especially, as there are literally millions of potential Apple customers who want to view and then buy an Apple product, but live nowhere near an Apple store but do live near a JB Hi Fi or Harvey Norman store.
Then there are the millions who walk into a Telstra, Optus or Vodafone store to buy an Apple product.
The mass retailers make little profit selling an Apple product however they do make a lot of money selling Apple attach devices such as music systems, IPod and iPad covers and a host of other accessories.
For all this to be funnelled through one web site and five stores does not make sense even if Apple did spend hundreds of millions building out their retail store chain in Australia.
Maybe Kogan should throw the gauntlet down to Harvey Norman, or anyone who is prepared to bet against the notion that Apple is set to drop their retail partners by 2014.