Rick Hart, the man behind the embattled home appliance retail chain of the same name, has gone on the attack against Harvey Norman, labelling the company as a group of “eastern states corporate raiders” that took the soul out of the Rick Hart retail chain.
In an article published yesterday on PerthNow, a website run by The Sunday Times newspaper of Perth, Rick Hart gave his candid opinion on the collapse of his eponymous retail chain and as well as the failure of the Clive Peeters brand.
Hart’s comments follow Wednesday’s announcement by Harvey Norman that 25 Rick Hart and Clive Peeters stores would be closed or rebranded following poor sales performances over the past year.
Speaking about the takeover of his retail chain, Rick Hart said that Harvey Norman “clearly demonstrated that they haven’t been able to run it.”
“When they [Harvey Norman] took it over, I thought it was a great move on their part as it gave them a second brand that they should’ve been able to capitalise on, but they just clearly have not had the ability to dissect the business from what they were doing overall,” said Hart.
“I don’t think they knew how to run the brand, and I think they drove it in a different direction to where it was going before,” he added. “No-one knows the business better than I do and, generally, when you get these big corporates involved they lose the soul of the business.
“As soon as you get eastern states corporate raiders, I always thought it [the Rick Hart brand] would disappear.
“It’s disappointing that another iconic WA brand goes by the wayside.”