Harvey Norman and JB Hi-Fi are set to go head to head in an online retailing battle that will also see the pair go head to head with The Big Brown Box, an online operation that is currently witnessing “significant” growth in Australia.A long time opponent of online retailing, Harvey Norman boss Gerry Harvey is set to watch with interest the roll-out of the new site, which has been driven by senior Harvey Norman management including David Ackery the General Manager of Electrical.
What has not been revealed is how Harvey Norman intends to remunerate franchisees who were long-time opponents of a Harvey Norman website because of revenue split issues.
The web test website, which can be found http://test.harveynorman.com.au/, has several components that are not working. However, the layout indicates that the mass retailer intends to be an aggressive marketer online, with the test site featuring a “Cracker” Digital Camera sale.
Harvey Norman executives have said that the site will be used to “shift run-out stock” as well. It will also aggressively sell appliances up against the likes of Winning, Clive Peeters and the Radio Rental owned Big Brown Box.
Senior Harvey Norman executives have told ChannelNews that the online store will also sell stock that is not necesarily ranged in a Harvey Norman store.