Gerry Harvey is being “pressurised” by his staff to go offshore, he revealed in an interview this week. The Chairman of Harvey Norman has revealed his growing unease at his operations in Australia as retailers are still being forced to pay GST, while foreign online rivals circumvent payment.
“I’ve got a whole heap of people who work at Harvey Norman who are telling me I’m mad for not doing it,” Harvey told The Australian in an interview.
“You can only hold out so long because your sales are being affected more and more as every day and every month goes by. It’s much worse now than it was six or nine months ago.”
However, it appears Gerry Harvey has not made his mind up just yet, refusing to give a definite on whether he would actually move operations outside Australia or not, but did admit sales were “much worse” than nine months ago.
“At the end of the day, you may have no alternative because there’s just none,” he said.
In February this year, Harvey cited a move of its online division to China, following Myer’s offshore move.
And times have been tough for electronics giant who recently reported profit slump of 19.3%, falling global sales and just last Friday announced three of its stores – two in Western Australia and one in Victoria – were to close.
However, later it emerged the Bendigo stores in Vic was not closing, with franchise owner, Alex Lobkl, franchisee confirming
“the Harvey Norman store at the corner of High and Furness streets is trading strongly” and no where near shutting down.
Gerry Harvey previously vented his fury at foreign competitors underpricing Australian retailers and headed up a ‘fair go’ media campaign along with bosses from Myer, David Jones and Just Group’ Solomon Lew, calling on the government to introduce a 10 percent GST levy on all goods purchased from overseas including goods worth less than $1,000, currently outside the GST bracket.
Harvey later admitted the move was in “poor timing” and was subject to the ire of Australian consumers.