By Patrick Avenell

Harvey Norman is predicting a revolution in generally available technology, with relatively new categories becoming more broadly available to consumers due to reductions in price.

In its preliminary final report issued today, Harvey Norman said that although retail conditions for technology dealers were challenging, the emergence of key new categories, and the resilience of the appliance industry, is providing optimism.

“We believe the IT retail industry is entering a new phase of product regeneration with great mainstream technology, where new product lines in major categories are offering real benefit for consumers,” said a Harvey Norman spokesperson.

“Tablets, smartphones, ultrabooks, all-in-one computers and new generations DSLR cameras offer the next generation of existing products. Harvey Norman franchisees are well placed to continue to lead this market.”

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Harvey Norman has also noted that its renewed focus on the furniture and bedding part of its business, and the traditional whitegoods industry, has been beneficial. Analysts report that whitegoods and cooking appliances have been largely unaffected by the extreme price erosion most evident in flat panel televisions.

“Price deflation in the television categories has continued and has resulted in reduced revenues, however, transactions continue to grow.

“The franchisees’ continued focus on whitegoods, cooking, home appliances and floorcare has resulted in growth in these categories.”

In a less optimistic projection for electronics, Harvey Norman predicts that “deflation will continue to dampen revenue growth in the coming year”.

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