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Home Direct Welcomes Commerce Commission Report

Home Direct Welcomes Commerce Commission Report on Mobile Traders

Having worked closely with the Commerce Commission in the last few years, Home Direct welcomes the release of the Mobile Trader investigation but we are concerned that it seems that we were the only company out of 32 reviewed that had complied with the obligations of the law and did not receive a compliance notice, said Chief Executive Michael Wright today.

“Home Direct has been operating legally and ethically in New Zealand for over 40 years and our loyal customer base is testament to the value proposition we offer’ he said.

It is of concern however, he noted, ‘that cowboys exist in this industry and that their tactics sometime give the industry a bad name’.

“As the largest player, with over 70 mobile shops and coverage across NZ”, Home Direct is acutely aware of the need to abide by the law. We are a long-standing member of the Direct Selling Association (DSA) an organisation that sets the standard for responsible retailing practices. As the only member operating mobile stores, our adherence to the DSA Code of Practice means that our standards of retailing are unmatched by any other operator in the country.

Along with the DSA, Home Direct is also a member of the Financial Services Federation and the New Zealand Credit & Finance Institute Inc.; two organisations that help set the benchmark of best practice in this country. Home Direct has worked alongside these organisation in preparing submissions and input into government legislation around responsible lending.

In general we found the Commission report fair, balanced and accurate, Mr Wright said. We appreciate that they acknowledged the reasons why customers enjoy the mobile truck experience which is based around the convenience of home shopping. This is especially important for those who, to quote the Commission, ‘feel unable to purchase the same goods in mainstream retails outlets’.

The only criticism of the report relates to the price comparison. Over 50% of our sales are clothing and bedding where we offer comparable price quality and brands to chain stores. The items used in the comparison chart by the Commission ignored these products. Home Direct, as a medium sized NZ retailer can never match the purchasing power of the predominately Australian owned retailers in whiteware and electronics. We do note however that the Pricespy comparisons are web prices and are exclusive of delivery costs, Mr Wright noted.

Home Direct applauds the on-going compliance activity the Commerce Commission has promised and encourages them to take all possible legal steps to clean up this industry and give more assurance to the customers who enjoy this form of shopping, Mr Wright said.

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