Harvey Norman sales defy ‘doom and gloom’ retail outlook

Reporting 5.5% growth.

In terms of business, we are going along fairly well and sales are consistent with each quarter being up, Harvey Norman chairman, Gerry Harvey told Appliance Retailer. He was responding to a rise of 5.5% in aggregate sales by independent Harvey Norman, Domayne and Joyce Mayne franchisees for the 10 months ended April 2017.

“Like for like sales through our electronics and furniture stores rose 5% for the first quarter, 4.1% for the next and next 4.8%. Inflation might be 2.5% so it is not a bad result in terms of what most retailers are doing in this environment.”

Harvey said there was no category that was particularly outstanding, “Our business responds to big ticket items like TVs, fridges, washing machines and new technology. That’s when you see the big sales increases so the latest TVs and sound bars are doing well for us.

“I am sure there are a lot of retailers out there who are not going well and I suspect a big percentage of them are in fashion. Prices of clothes have come down, there are more in the market coming in from overseas and all the imports from the internet are putting these retailers under pressure.”

He was dismissive of earlier reports that a drop in retail sales of 0.1% placed the country on the verge of a recession. “Such a suggestion was stupid even if sales dropped 1% or 2% would we be on verge of a recession? If it rose 1.1% would we be on the verge of a boom?

During the 10 months ending April 2017, two Harvey Norman and one Domayne branded franchised complexes were opened and one Harvey Norman branded franchised complex was closed.

The retailer has been rolling out with big signature stores overseas with Ireland opening soon followed by Kuala Lumpur and New Zealand in Q3. New signature stores are already operating in Singapore and Slovenia.

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