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JB Hi-Fi boss reveals little-known way customers can score a discount

JB Hi-Fi staff have been told to “take the deal” when customers haggle for a discount.

Haggling is something most Aussies only do when travelling overseas, but the boss of electronics retailer JB Hi-Fi has revealed customers can do it in-store to nab a discount.

Speaking to analysts this week, JB Hi-Fi CEO Terry Smart said staff had been told to “take the deal” when customers asked for a discount.

JB Hi-Fi currently has a price-match policy where it will match the price of an identically stocked competitor product and says negotiable deals are part of its “everyday promise”.

JB Hi-Fi
JB Hi-Fi CEO Terry Smart said the discount was "up to the staff" and based on competition. (Source: Getty)

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JB Hi-Fi’s profits dropped by almost 20 per cent in their half-year results released this week, compared to the same period last year. The retailer, which also owns The Good Guys, recorded net profits of $264.3 million, while total sales came to $5.2 billion, down from $5.3 billion.

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Smart said the trading environment had become “more challenging” due to “heightened competitive activity” and an increase in “on-floor discounting”.

“Our direction to our staff is to take the deal,” Smart said. “We want them to take the deal and let us worry if it’s [profit margin] a bit skinnier than maybe it should be.

“But we would rather bank those dollars than let somebody else bank those dollars.”

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Smart said deals offered were “up to the staff” but it was driven by how competitive the market may be.

“If they’re [customers] going into a competitor’s store, getting a price [and] bringing it into us, we tell the staff, ‘Take the deal. Move on, move to the next customer’,” he said.

Sales at The Good Guys were down 9.9 per cent to $1.39 billion, with home appliance trading resilient while consumer electronics sales dipped.

The Good Guys currently offers customers a Price Beat policy. Other retailers with similar policies include Harvey Norman, which offers a price-match guarantee on competitors’ products, and Officeworks, which offers a price-beat guarantee with a 5 per cent discount off the matched price.

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