Harvey Norman’s David Ackery confirms Malaysian expansion

By Martin Vedris

SYDNEY: Growth is a key strategy for the Harvey Norman group with a move into Malaysia confirmed today as likely by the group’s general manager electrical, David Ackery.

“We have always said that there are huge opportunities for us in Malaysia and Singapore,” Ackery told Current.com.au today.

“Katie Page, our CEO, is over there as we speak, looking at opportunities in Singapore and Malaysia.”

The confirmation from Ackery was in response to a report that Harvey Norman was identified as a potential retail tenant in Malaysia’s new Pavilion Kuala Lumpur development — a billion dollar complex comprising retail outlets, 368 luxury residential dwellings and commercial office space.

While Ackery would not confirm the exact location of any potential Harvey Norman stores in Malaysia, including one in Pavilion Kuala Lumpur, Ackery indicated that Malaysia is a market in which Harvey Norman sees potential.

“There’s a fair chance of good growth for Harvey Norman in Malaysia,” Ackery said.

Planned for a 20 September 2007 opening, Pavilion Kuala Lumpur will be comprised of four major components — a retail precinct, a 19 storey office tower, two towers of  luxury residences and a proposed six star boutique hotel.

Kuala Lumpur Pavilion (KLP), the company in charge of the development, expects total annual retail sales from the outlets at the shopping complex to exceed $AU500 million in 2008.

According to a report in The Edge Daily, KLP chief executive officer, Brisco Fan, said his company has planned marketing packages and events to achieve that retail sales target. Fan indicated that KLP intends to tag Pavilion KL as a unique shopping destination in Asia by reserving at least 20 per cent of the retail space for new retail brands previously unavailable in Malaysia. KLP expects up to 25 per cent of its sales to come from tourists as shopping was one of the main drivers for tourism in Malaysia.

Fan said 45 per cent of the space at Pavilion KL had already been leased to international and local retailers and the development was well on its way to achieving its 20 per cent target for new retail brands.

“We believe we have the expertise, right management and passion to understand the objectives and deliver this project,” Fan told reporters at a briefing on the project in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

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