The Australian retail market has always been a funny thing, something available online for say $19.99 (like the t-shirt I'm wearing) is $49.99 here in stores, if not more. It's ridiculous and it seems that even a powerhouse retailer like JB Hi-Fi is feeling that pinch.
Today they very quietly launched an online-only direct sales model, at first just selling DSLR cameras and accessories. These prices won't be offered in-store, with only the online store the only way to take advantage of the super-cheap pricing. The store is dubbed "direct import" and offers DSLR camera, lenses, flashes and grips. Funnily enough, it's undercutting its own bricks and mortar JB Hi-Fi stores in the process.
For example, a Nikon D3100 with a single lens through JB Hi-Fi's online store is $777. The direct import price? $596. This kind of pricing really shows how much price-gouging is done at a wholesale level in Australia.
Even JB Hi-Fi chairman Patrick Elliot said something about it at their last annual general meeting, claiming that when it comes to the sale of goods in its stores, JB Hi-Fi were prepared to go to a "direct import model" if suppliers didn't reduce the cost price of their goods. Well, it seems as though he stuck to his words now, didn't he?