Something is rotton in the state of Harvey Norman. And the retail sector in general. What is it? Interest rates, carbon taxes and global recession, cries Gerry Harvey, the modern day apparent figure of pity.
Rising interest rates has proved a major thorn in the side of retail business, says Harvey Norman’s Chairman, although admitted recent “positive” forecasts suggesting rates are staying put, has had a positive effect on his business.
“We had more people in stores on weekend mainly due to ‘oh – interest rates aren’t going up’. Positive news has this wonderful effect,” Harvey told BusinessDaily.
“It was the best headline that we have seen for ages” he added, referring to the steady rates forecast by Westpac economist, Bill Evans, the first to suggest a downward trend.
However, despite the temporary lift, there is “no light on the horizon” for retail, the Harvey Norman veteran believes, with the prospect of carbon tax proposed by the current Labor government coupled with the GFC leaving consumers feeling scalded.
This comes on the back of recent downgrades by analysts of both electronics sellers Harvey Norman and JB Hi Fi, who are now tipped to announce revenue falls for its June quarter results.