Gerry Harvey is on a fact finding mission…to Tasmania, recently looking for answers to his business woes.
The 72 year old drove around Tasmania recently looking for inspiration and talking to anyone and everyone about the newly cautious consumer mindset and how troubled Harvey Norman can improve its offering.
Harvey Norman recently announced a 6.1% fall in sales and pre tax earnings slump of 17.69% to $163.47 million at the end of December.
Harvey blamed cautious consumer spending and intense competition for the downfall.
“I talk to customers to find out if they’re satisfied with our service and how and where we can improve,” Harvey said.
“It’s all good PR, and listening to customers can spark a fresh idea. Just one good idea can make a difference – for the better” he told LeadingCompany this week.
But the retail veteran is looking to keep the mood among his franchisees beat saying a positive attitude is hugely important in hard times.
“If hard-working operators with good stores are struggling, then we (the holding company) will subsidise them. I know it’s difficult, and it’s only human to feel dejected when incomes are down.”
But times are very tough, Harvey admits saying:
“Retailers across Australia tell me it’s the worst trading conditions they have ever experienced.”