Harris pursues market growth for new masters

Harris pursues market growth for new masters

Now under the wing of local retailing giant Coles Myer (CM), Harris Technology (HT) is embarking on an expansion plan that will see it moving into larger enterprise accounts and opening two new stores before the end of the year.

In addition to a retail showroom being opened in HT's new North Ryde headquarters (currently being readied for a September relocation), Harris also plans to open a Melbourne store before the year is out. Ron Harris, the company's founder and current MD, said with the lucrative original North Sydney premises remaining in place, that will bring to three the number of stores operating, in addition to the Web site.

"The Melbourne store will be situated within the CBD or very close to it," Harris said.

"It will have a retail showroom with the same formula that has been so successful for us to date. It will have experienced consultants giving lots of good advice and will be backed up by our call centre, Web site and everything else we have got."

Harris said the Melbourne store is due to open in November or December but "definitely before Christmas".

"We are moving into the new [North Ryde] premises in September and the new retail showroom being built there will be operating from October."

Although these two new premises are the only ones HT has in its sights at the moment, Harris said future plans to have Internet "kiosks" in many, if not most, of CM's stores are also going ahead. These kiosks will cross-market all CM business units and not just HT, he implied.

"We are actively discussing it [kiosks] but nothing has been signed off yet," Harris said. "It has progressed a little and you will see them, but I am not sure exactly when at this stage. There is tremendous strength in the strategy of having [online buying] kiosks in every Coles Myer store."

Generally the upward spiral of retail business for HT has been maintained.

"We enjoyed huge growth earlier this year and that is still happening since Coles Myer bought us," said Harris. "Business has increased as much as 50 per cent since January."

Harris attributes this growth to proven systems and methodologies developed by HT. He said there has also been increased confidence from corporates and enterprise customers because of the parent company.

"Our salespeople have found that talking about being part of the CM Group has been a great help in closing deals. It has been much easier for them in getting larger accounts," he said. "We are close to securing some deals with large Australia-wide enterprises and that wasn't happening before."

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