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Harvey Norman Boss Labels Amazon 'A Dud'

Some Amazon launch prices more expensive

Harvey Norman Boss Labels Amazon 'A Dud'

Some of Australia's most iconic retailers have started hitting back at Amazon, after the online giant's launch in Australia was labelled as all a bit underwhelming yesterday. 

Despite promises of undercutting local retailers by 30%, plenty of Amazon's products have been revealed as being more expensive than our brick and mortar stores. 

"I know Amazon will be a big force down the track but they haven't got off to a good start" says finance guru, Ross Greenwood, from Channel 9. He spoke with Triple M Brisbane's Big Breakfast, with some examples - 

"We found Samsung 55 inch televisions that are $500 more expensive on Amazon than they are at either JB Hi-Fi or Harvey Norman"

That said, Greenwood says there are some deals to be found but it's a case of needing to do your research.  

"I'll give you a classic example.. the Sonos Play 5 is one of those cool remote speakers.. very cool.. and they generally cost about $650-$750 depending on where you go. Yesterday, on Amazon, they were for sale for $350 but you know what it's like when you go on one of those travel websites and you get a 'you beaut' fare to Europe or something like that and then you try and get a second one but the price is $500 more expensive. That's what's happening here! There were only two of them for sale for $350 yesterday and once they were gone, the price of the same product this morning is $700" 

"You also need to watch delivery," says Greenwood. "With many of the deliveries in capital city markets, you'll get your delivery free within 3-5 business days but there's third party selling on Amazon so with some of them you may not get the goods before Christmas". 

Managing director of Harvey Norman, Gerry Harvey, also called into the show. It's fair to say he's not surprised. 

"When you get that much hype and you're going to be that wonderful.. guess what happens? You're going to be a dud!", he said. 

"Somewhere along the line they'll send every other retailer broke so they can take over and put up the prices. In my view they should be barred, [in fact] they should never have been allowed to open in this country"

Harvey says, in some ways, Amazon's launch has been a win for the retailers and Greenwood agrees. 

"Why wouldn't you just go and buy it and take it away from the store right now and take it away in your hot little hand, as opposed to taking the punt and hoping to have it in 5 business days?" 

"Like anything else, you've just gotta look around the place cos it doesn't mean every one of Amazon's deals are the best in town", says Greenwood. 

While the likes of Harvey Norman will certainly notice Amazon in the market, Harvey says it won't cause that much pain in the grand scheme of things. 

"We already operate against.. not just Amazon.. Alibaba and a heap of others and our sales are going up! We've got a shop in every town in Australia with 10,000 people or more so how are they going to compete with Harvey Norman?", he questioned. 

"They're not going to get the soft ride they got in America.. Harvey Norman and a few other retailers in Australia are going to go for the throat of Amazon, don't worry about that!" 

Hear the FULL CHAT here: