Harvey Norman Close Stores As Sales In OZ Fall

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Harvey Norman has posted a 3.6% fall in sales. They have also moved to close seven Clive Peeters and Rick Hart group stores due to poor sales following their acquisition last year for $55M.

Harvey Norman made the $55 million acquisition In July of 2010, purchasing roughly 25 Clive Peeter stores and warehouses and continuing to employ much of its existing workforce.

Global sales for the year to June 30th were $6.18 billion and Harvey Norman said that revenue had fallen for electrical franchisees due to a challenging environment, including a stronger Australian dollar and falling TV prices.

They said that there had been growth in white goods, cooking, home appliances and floor care.

Despite the like for like sales fall, shares in the mass retailer rose to $1.93, well below the $2.10 that they were trading at on August 3. During the last quarter sales fell 3.9%.

Seven of the Clive Peeters and Rick Hart stores, in Victoria and Western Australia, would be permanently closed, with the other 16 to remain open as Harvey Norman or Joyce Mayne stores.

The closures would result in a charge against next year’s pre-tax profit of $10 million, it said.

The retailer has admitted that they have been hit by sharp falls in spending by consumers and said price falls would hit revenue in the coming year.

In comparison JB Hi Fi announced a 13.3% rise in profits and an 8.3% rise in sales.

Like for like sales in Australia fell by 2.8 per cent.

The company said furniture and bedding franchisees had increased revenue and market share despite a slow-down in the industry.

Yesterday, Harvey Norman staff was told that the company plans to close their Thomastown Clive Peeters store along with 3 other stores.

One staff member who contacted ChannelNews said I was contacted yesterday to attend a meeting in our Ringwood store after hours about additional changes that Jerry Harvey & co. are wanting to implement. We were told that Thomastown store + several others will be closed”.

 

A senior executive of Harvey Norman told CN that the Clive Peeters brand is set to be dropped and all remaining Clive Peeters stores will be rebranded as Harvey Norman stores. 

A Harvey Norman franchisee in one of the effected areas told ChannelNews that he was “not happy” with the move.

“Basically we are going to have a former Clive Peeters store of the ones that are left competing with us branded Harvey Norman. This will take business away from us. The beneficiary will be Gerry Harvey not the franchise network”.

In other moves recently, Harvey Norman sacked or retrenched several company delivery drivers, many of them senior managers who have been with the Company “a long time” said one source.

Other staff members were offered jobs in sales.

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