Retail briefs: Philips, Harris, ACCC

New site for Philips

Philips Australia has re-launched its Web site ( to bolster the marketing for a bunch of new product releases leading up to Christmas. The vendor has added a "product comparison tool", a download section for owner manuals and product specification sheets, updated FAQs, a glossary for technical jargon, a high-resolution image library and enhanced search features. More importantly, Philips has included a "store locator" function, which directs customers to all current dealer locations and Web sites. Dealers can be located via post code and address or according to the products and services they offer.

Harris bolsters Coles Myer's online playsHarris Technology, the IT reseller purchased by Coles Myer in 1999, continues to be one of the few online entities that is making some profits for the retail giant. Coles Myer overall produced first-quarter sales of $5,948 million for the 13-week quarter to October 28, an increase of 6.8 per cent. The picture was not as rosy for e.colesmyer, the retailer's online group, with sales declining by 5.1 per cent. Online results were dragged down by poor sales at Myer Direct. Excluding this division, Harris Technology and Coles Online achieved sales growth of 15.8 per cent for the quarter.

ACCC eyes e-tailers

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission is holding an event this week to clarify the rights and obligations of e-tailers under the Trade Practices Act (1984). The Government agency held a two-day conference in Melbourne over November 19-20, to discuss best practice requirements for companies trading on the Internet. It covered many facets of e-tailing, including service and delivery expectations, privacy issues and how to handle complaints and refunds. Speakers included ACCC chairman Allan Fels, Jennifer Mandigo from the US Federal Trade Commission, and Peter Coroneos, chief executive of the Internet Industry Association.