After a meeting of the combined brains trust of Australia's largest IT retailers last Friday (ARN, September 22, page 1), the group consensus was to meet again within a month under a more formal structure.
The meeting was arranged by and held at Harvey Norman, with representatives of almost all the major retailers involved in IT equipment, including Retrovision, Bing Lee, Dick Smith Electronics, Harris Technology, Myer/ Grace Bros, David Jones, Vox Group and NARTA. HN's John Slack-Smith described the group as "a good cross- section of the mass merchants in IT".
Rather than just a reaction to the involvement of vendors in the retail space, Slack-Smith said that the major common issues aired were the opportunities and challenges to retailers brought about by the Internet and government concerns such as the retrospective elements of the GST.
While one attendee, who did not wish to be named, said the meeting was useful, he felt it would most likely become a special interest group under the banner of an organisation such as the Australian Retailers Association.
Slack-Smith observed that it was interesting that, while they are sworn mortal enemies day to day, the casual nature of the get-together emphasised the common issues they are all facing. He said there is a "genuine commitment to meet again", and he expects the next, more formal, meeting to occur in early October.