By Sarah Falson

PENANG, MALAYSIA: Gerry Harvey, who last month said he wants to expand his retail business across more countries, has opened a third Harvey Norman Malaysian outlet in Penang.

According to a report by The Star Online, the new store, which is located in Queensbay Mall, cost $A1.5 million to develop and will rely on stocks of laptops, mp3 players, LCD televisions and DVD recorders to spearhead sales over the Christmas period.

The store is incorporating a ‘touch and feel’ marketing concept, with electronics, home appliances, computers, furniture and bedding all under one roof, on display for customers to trial, according to Harvey Norman South-East Asia managing director, Angelo Augustus. 

Late last month Gerry Harvey held a luncheon in conjunction with the Australia-Israel Chamber of Commerce, where he announced that Harvey Norman plans to “take over the UK” and expand its presence in other overseas areas.

"This year we’re nudging a $6 million turnover from our Australian and New Zealand stores along with our nine stores in Ireland and those in Slovenia, Singapore and Malaysia,” he said.

“But we want to be in North Ireland, too, and Scotland. We want to take over the UK, even Italy.”

The Star Online reported that the new Penang Harvey Norman store is around 1860 square metres, with the layout designed to move human traffic through product displays and promotions.

Augustus told The Star online that he hopes the Penang outlet will be able to capture a substantial market share of consumer electronics, bedding and furniture products in Penang in five years. 

“Our strategy is to get our customers for consumer electronics items to also buy furniture,” he said.

According to Augustus, Harvey Norman chose Penang for its third Malaysian outlet because of the state’s “booming economy and rising purchasing power of its population”. 

“This retail chain is also our first outside the Klang Valley,” he said. 

The first Harvey Norman store in Malaysia opened three years ago in Petaling Jaya, and the second opened last month in Mid Valley. Two more are planned for next year, one in Sunway and the other Kuala Lumpur.