Kogan kicks tech retailers where it hurts

Kogan recently said that the likes of Harvey Norman, Myer, David Jones and a whole host of bricks and mortar retailers have unleashed an expensive PR scare campaign to pressure the government to increase taxes and duties. 

There is one question they consistently fail to answer says Kogan, if a “mere 10% GST is the problem, then why are their prices often over 50% higher than offshore competitors?”

“Whenever you hear a businessman crying out for more regulation or taxation, you know that his business is struggling and he wants some help from the government in pulling back his competitors”.

Take the Canon EOS 550D camera for instance he says. “Today, this product costs $1349 at Harvey Norman, but only $698 online.

That online price is from an Aussie online retailer who has all the same GST and duty costs that Harvey Norman would. That’s a price increase of more than 93% for the pleasure of shopping at Harvey Norman”.

“After initially threatening to move to Chinese online stores, the big guys are now threatening job losses if they don’t get their way. They say that buying from international online stores is 'un-Australian' and will harm our economy”, says Kogan.

“The big guys”, points out Kogan, “say they want an “even playing field”, so they spent millions of dollars on a national campaign to get a “fair go”.

But, it's hard to take them too seriously when Harvey Norman alone spent more than $355 million on "marketing expenses" in FY2010, which was more than 26% of their total sales revenue”.

“If the big retailers are finding it hard to compete with the prices offered by their online competitors, they should consider streamlining their businesses, and using their commercial clout to source products at better prices, instead of petitioning the government for tax increases and more regulation”, concludes Kogan.