Other mass merchant retailers will find it almost impossible to shift Harvey Norman from its computer sales dominance after details of recent successes and future growth plans were revealed. Following the addition of 31 stores last year, there are plans for at least 14 more in the first three quarters of this year.
However, not even those new competitors for Australia's computer retailers will be the end of it, according to Tony Gattari, general manager, computers and communications, Harvey Norman told ARN last week"We have got a long way to go," Gattari said. "The way we view world at the moment is that there is the potential for a store if it can draw from 50,000 people or more."
Gattari revealed the huge success of South Australia's first Harvey Norman superstore at Marion - which took in $100,000 on the first day of the company's recent 'Software Sale' promotion - has made him eager for a second one. It is scheduled to open in July on the other side of Adelaide in the suburb of Enfield.
Apart from new stores, many of the regional retail stores now rebadged as Harvey Norman outlets after recent acquisitions in Western Australia and Tasmania are now rolling out their computer divisions.
"So far we have opened up computer sections in Kalgoorlie, Albany and Bunbury with great success and are still to launch in Busselton, Port Hedland, Geraldton and Karratha," Gattari said.
Meanwhile, completing the attack on the western front are large new stores opening in Fremantle (in March) and the Perth suburb of Rockingham in April, Gattari said.
He added Harvey Norman are also opening other big stores in Liverpool (Sydney) in March, Newcastle in April, Noosa ("in the second half of 1999"), Everton Park in Brisbane (July) and Darwin (September). There is also a second Harvey Norman Holdings owned (as opposed to franchised) store due to open in Auckland during the first half of this year. But that's not all.
"We also have the introduction of computer sections to all of the Joyce Mayne chain that was acquired last year," Gattari added. "This is a very interesting year for Harvey Norman and we have got lots of plans in lots of areas that should keep the ball rolling."