Does Helloworld (HLO) really have a proper web and IT strategy?

The question has to be asked because right now it doesn’t seem to extend beyond cutting short-term costs to boost the company’s next profit announcement on the Australian Stock Exchange.

Two weeks ago Australia’s second-largest retail group very publicly ended its website alliance with Orbitz, which CEO Andrew Burnes said had cost Helloworld $18m over three years.

Mr Burnes said Helloworld.com.au will be shifted onto a new platform from August 31. Very precise date.

So what’s the new platform?

Helloworld either won’t say or doesn’t know.

Two weeks it took to get “No comment” from their PR agency, which arrived this morning.

It’s hard to see the point of such a response to such a basic question – that is, assuming a decision has been made.

This is a crucial issue for the company, especially considering the plan Mr Burnes outlined on April 20.

“Once we transition the site, Helloworld.com.au will continue to provide full transactional functionality for air, land, car hire and other travel products and services,” he said.

“However, from September the site will match the available micro-sites of our individual agencies and the commission from bookings made on the site will be allocated to agencies in the same way as if a customer walked through the door, called, or sent an email booking.”

It sounds complicated and potentially expensive.

But less than four months from August 31, Helloworld is unable or unwilling to provide any meaningful information on the subject.

Another big statement from the company followed by very few details. It’s becoming a pattern.

At some some point soon, details will be all that matter.

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