By James Wells

SYDNEY: The highly competitive New Zealand retailing market is expected to receive another competitor with speculation that Harvey Norman plans to bring back the Norman Ross brand in what appears to be a Good Guys style bulky goods retail offering.

A report published in today’s Australian Financial Review, claims that current Harvey Norman executive chairman and Norman Ross founder, Gerry Harvey, is looking at introducing the Norman Ross brand for up to 30 discount electrical goods and computer stores in New Zealand which will operate as a standalone business.

"Electrical goods and computer suppliers in NZ were told last week of the plans by Harvey Norman to launch the alternative brand targeted at the lower end of the market in a big barn-style offering," the article said.

"They were told Harvey Norman aimed to open 30 Norman Ross stores in NZ in the next 24 months, with the first earmarked to open in November in the Wellington area.

The decision to revive the Norman Ross brand follows a recent decision by JB Hi-Fi to expand into the New Zealand market.

By the early 1980s, the Norman Ross chain had 42 stores in New South Wales and Queensland, before going into liquidation after several changes of ownership in 1992.