WITH competition being so fierce in the retail sector, service is the key to success. However, whatever may be the case with other electrical goods, at least with Apple’s new musical toy, retailing staff seem to know all they need to know.
Across Auckland last weekend Reseller News visited all the main retailers and made enquiries by phone. All of the staff seem to know the basics about iPod, right down to the range of colours, even if some are unsure about its finer points.
Dick Smith Electronics seemed of the opinion that the iPod minis are not as good value as the existing range, which is about to be replaced.
A staffer at its Auckland CBD store said the 15MB to 20MB of storage on the bigger iPods are better value, and advised that a new range of the product is imminent.
A salesperson at DSE’s Newmarket outlet said the “1MB to 4MB” storage capacity of the new Mini’s would be “a rip off” and that any device with just 1MB of storage would not be worth buying.
He too advised Reseller News to go for the larger model, but showed his computer database which listed the price of the Mini’s and said the store has pre-ordered 200.
Elsewhere in Newmarket, staff at Noel Leeming knew the drill and while they had none to display (none of the stores actually visited had any on show), they could pre-order.
Hill & Stewart did not sell any iPods full-stop while Farmer’s said it is not expecting deliveries for a couple of months, and its salesperson said the retailer tends to be late in getting supplies of new products.
Bond and Bond at New Lynn knew the basics about the iPods — price, colour, etc, though after a few minutes of talking, their Sunday staffer seemed more interested in fiddling with a DVD player.
A Monday morning ring-round found that Retravision Mt Eden does not sell iPods, and Reseller News was directed to Mt Albert TV.
Big Byte in Botany Downs says it has sold the first shipment. Staff knows all about colours and again, Reseller News was warned about the new device being “just 4MBs”.
But what joy to be told by Harvey Norman in Manukau City that it actually has a few on display for people to look at. The store has three in each colour and are taking pre-orders.
Smaller retailer Ubertec in Parnell has also sold its first shipment and is waiting for more. Reseller News was advised to place an order soon, with gold suggested, as the retailer has not received any pre-orders in that colour, so there is more chance of getting one.
As for delivery, the retailers gave a variety of answers. DSE in Newmarket quotes August 8, Bond and Bond in Auckland’s CBD says a month, Farmers says two months, Harvey Norman says mid-August, while Ubertec says it is “not too sure” when its next shipment is due.
Renaissance Brands has the exclusive distributor agreement for the iPods, and its Apple product marketing manager Bronwyn Sinclair confirms the first “limited” shipment of iPod Minis arrived here a week ago.
Sinclair says supplies will be “tight for a while” with the distributor having a “big backlog” of orders amid huge global demand.
The distributor has no idea when the next shipment is due, Sinclair continues, so concerning delivery, the retailers “are just speculating”.
Renaissance staff are training retailers to sell the product, but the iPod Mini is an item that “is selling itself”.
“It was announced earlier this year. It’s certainly something people know about,” Sinclair adds.