Gloomy Gerry predicts big job losses as he admits his stores are in “serious trouble.”
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Retail is in the doldrums. And there’s worse to come, Harvey’s Chairman believes, forecasting a shocking 200,000 job losses next year in the troubled sector.
“We (the industry) employ 1.2 million people and next year we’ll be employing one million – it’s getting bad every day and just gets worse,” Harvey told AAP, referring to the dire state of retail in Australia, with the GFC, squeezed margins and competition from online operators both here and overseas all taking its toll.
“Now it’s starting to bite because so many retailers are going out of business.”
He also admitted there are “so many Harvey Norman shops that are in serious trouble.”
“We’re losing money in more shops than we’ve ever lost money and that’s (the same for) every retailer right across the country.”
The retail veteran also renewed his GST argument, calling on the government to lower the $1000 threshold for goods bought online so his online e-tail rivals would be forced cough up more tax, thus increase their prices.
This GST argument has been doing the rounds among major retailers including Harvey’s, Myer, David Jones and others for more than a year.
But, it seems, some bricks and mortar retailers are also pressuring online rivals into keeping their prices artificially higher, as revealed by a Productivity Commision report this week.
This latest bleak out look for retail comes as the Australian Retailers Association looks to push its wares, saying iPods, iPhone and other electronics were high on the Christmas lists, part of its major PR campaign recently launched in an attempt to claw back some of the business lost to online.
Harvey Norman nor the Australian Retail Association could be contacted for comment at the time of writing.