I love the Audio-Visual industry.
There can be few occupations where you are working with the heart and emotion as much as you are working with the head and logic. At the same time there are things about this industry that frustrates me.
This week Panasonic announced that it is exiting the TV market in Australia. Apparently they cannot remain competitive under the trying conditions that so many companies in Australia are currently experiencing.
My frustration is why do Panasonic, like Pioneer before them, feel that they need to be price competitive in the first place?
It is no secret that we at Len Wallis Audio believe the Panasonic OLED screens to be the best on the market. In fact we consider them to be the best domestic screens ever released in Australia – finally outgunning the legendary Kuro screens produced by Pioneer a decade ago.
These are premium products, surely they could tolerate a premium price tag. Yes, Panasonic may lose some support from the major outlets, but there are still many people who will seek out, and pay for, a product that is demonstrably better.
To me Panasonic’s rationale is the same as Mercedes Benz exiting the market because they cannot be price competitive with Toyota.
The market for quality products in Australia is alive and well. The motor vehicle industry has just come out of a horrid 12 months with sales reportedly down 8%. Unless you were Ferrari, Lamborghini, Porsche or Rolls Royce, who all saw growth during the same period. Try buying a Rolex Daytona watch over the counter, you will need to lodge an ‘Expression of Interest’; and then wait your turn. According to research company Statista luxury sales of goods in Australia are tipped to rise by 2.8% this year, a very different scenario to the forecast for retail in general.
There is still a sizable demand in Australia for quality products, and people will pay a premium for these products if the price being asked can be justified, and if the product in question offers better performance than the lesser priced alternatives. Panasonic OLED TV’s is (or rather was) one of those products.
I suspect we have, yet again, taken a step backwards. It is our loss.