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Coles Myer gives Harris a kick along

Coles Myer gives Harris a kick along

The sale of Harris Technology to Coles Myer in March has been more than just a massive boost to its founder Ron Harris' retirement fund. It has also armed the local Internet trading big gun with extra clout in dealings with suppliers and has created increased interest from high-end customers, according to the retained managing director.

Meanwhile, the huge pool of CM marketing funds has provided additional resources to widely circulate HT's monthly mail-order catalogues as well as increase awareness of its popular and successful Web site.

Harris told ARN last week that both he and all his former staff (now employed by CM) are very pleased and "upbeat" about their new arrangements.

"It is going very well," said Harris. "I have found the people [at Coles Myer] to be very friendly. I almost feel as if we have joined a club. It has only been five weeks but everything looks very positive so far."

Harris said he has been getting good help from CM's stable of bean counters in reducing costs. Additionally, it seems suppliers are now climbing over each other to get into the Harris Technology good books.

"A lot of our suppliers have told us it is fantastic that we have the backing of Coles," Harris said. "We have never had any problem settling accounts, but we have had quite a few of them increase our credit limits voluntarily and offer additional value-adds to us. So I am very upbeat at the moment.

"My forecast is that you will see some very strong growth from Harris Technology in the near future but it will still have the basic shape and form of what we have been doing for the last few years just with a few new parts in the engine room."

Harris also hinted there will be some exciting developments and big announcements in the next few months that may revolutionise both the IT retailing market and in fact, much broader operations of CM.

"We are having some discussions at the moment about some things that will be very newsworthy," Harris said. "There is nothing firm but if some of them come off it will be big news for CM's shareholders and staff. I think you will find that maybe our competitors might be finding it a bit tougher as well," he added.


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