NOT Closing: Harvey Norman’s Big Bendigo Blunder

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Harvey Norman Bendigo store is not closing its owner insists, despite Friday’s announcement to the contrary. Last week, Harvey Norman secretary, Chris Mentis, notified the ASX of its intention to put three Rick Hart stores – Mandurah and O’Connor both in WA and Bendigo (Vic) into administration.

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To close or not to close…that is the question, Harvey Norman’s Bendigo outlet. Image: Bendigo Advertiser.

Mentis also confirmed the appointment of Sydney based accountant David Levi to act as administrator to the store closures, formerly Rick Hart owned outlets, which Harvey took over in 2010.

However, there is some confusion, it appears, as Harvey’s Bendigo store located in Kangaroo Flat, Victoria, is alive and kicking and is not about to close, Alex Lobkl, franchisee owner told the Bendigo Advertiser today.

“The Harvey Norman store at the corner of High and Furness streets is trading strongly,” Lobkl confirmed.

And a call put through to the Bendigo store this morning confirmed this, with an employee responding with a definite “no” when asked if  the store was shutting down. 

Calls to Mandurah and O’Connor Harvey Norman wholly owned stores this morning went unanswered, indicating the closures are effective immediately. 

The latest closure announcement is no major surprise and insiders tip more could follow, as Harvey Norman franchisees have been having a tough time of late.

Last week, it announced profit dip of almost 20 percent to $14.9m and sales plummeting almost 3% – pushing shares to lowest levels in weeks. And shares fell again this morning to $2.03 – down 0.49% from Friday, before the closures announcement was made.

The strong Aussie dollar, price deflation and “intense” competition eroding average selling prices were blamed for the steep decline in profits. 

 

4 Clive Peters and 3 Rick Hart stores have already been shut during its latest trading period to end of September.

And it was disappointing news on the international front for Harvey’s also, with global sales falling 3.8% to $1.48 billion for the three months to September 30th

Read Nasty Profit Thud Harvey Norman -20%

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