Retail Association Takes A Pot Shot At Gerry Harvey

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Harvey Norman boss Gerry Harvey who last week labelled the Rudd government “bloody amateurs” has upset to Australian Retailers Association. His comments came 24 hours after he appeared on Today Tonight exposing poor service in his own stores.
Taking a pot shot at Kevin Rudd’s mining tax reform Gerry Harvey, who was appearing as a guest at an industry forum on retailing, also lashed out at Woolworths chief Michael Luscombe, David Jones boss Mark McInnes and Coles leader Ian McLeod for their negative views of the retail market in Australia.

“Why are we sitting here whingeing about it?” he said.
“We are in the middle of a boom, 95 per cent of us are employed, we’ve got more money than we’ve ever earned in our life and we are sitting around here talking about how crook things are. What a joke.”
He added “When you talk to all the people who know Kevin Rudd, they all say not-so-nice things about him, it’s pretty bloody difficult,” he said at the Australian National Retail Association forum. 
“He’s unfortunately rightly or wrongly selling himself as ‘fair shake of the sauce bottle, mate’, which I’ve never heard anyone say. “He’s trying to be somebody he’s not. People are saying this guy’s a fake.
“How he’s going to turn that around now, I wouldn’t know.” Mr Harvey says the Government’s selling of the tax has fallen short.
“The way they presented it, their timing, you just think these blokes are bloody amateurs,” he said. “You would expect them to put a bit more thought into it because it’s just blown up in their face.”
After the event he told journalists that he was not personally opposed to mining tax reform, but was critical of the federal government’s reforms which he claims could set Australia back.
Shortly after the event the Australian Retailers Association (ARA) claimed that Mr Harvey had ignored the concerns of smaller retailers.
“Any retail giant that has the hide to laugh off the very genuine concerns of smaller retailers is completely out-of-touch,” ARA executive director Russell Zimmerman said.

“While Mr Harvey may not be feeling the impact of current retail trading conditions, smaller retailers are spending every waking hour trying to get customers in the door and hold onto their staff.”
Mr Zimmerman said while Mr Harvey was lucky “he’s doing quite well”, he wasn’t representative of the broader sector.
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