By Chris Nicholls

SYDNEY: Gerry Harvey has declared that flat panel TV sales have been “going through the roof” in the run up to and during the first week of the Olympics.

Speaking to, the Harvey Norman chairman said every store in the chain had reported TV sales were “up between 20 and 50 per cent” on regular non-Olympic year trading.

While Harvey did not have exact sales figures, he added that he did not expect sales to drop off after the Olympics were over, either, in direct contrast to many analysts to date.

It appears the flat panel boom has not made a significant impact on Harvey Norman’s bottom line, though, with Harvey saying business remained down.

He denied things were bad enough to start a cost-cutting program, though, saying, “We look at those sorts of things all the time, but business hasn’t got to the stage where you really have to really jump in and starts cutting the guts out of stuff”.

“As soon as you start getting sales decreases of five, 10, 15, 20 per cent, that’s when you jump in, and some of the retailers out there would have had those sorts of decreases,” he said.

He said while sales may be down, Harvey Norman “tends to go a bit stronger than the competitors, because the brand and the advertising and the whole thing”.