While some major retail outlets, including Harvey Norman and the Leading Edge Group, have reported a sales slump during September and October, Sydney's Harris Technology is achieving record sales and growth.
"September, October and November are traditionally slow months, but we are going very well at the moment," Ron Harris, managing director of Harris Technology, told ARN last week.
"We have had record months all year and are up about 50 per cent on last year all around, while September was our second biggest month ever."
If retailers thought the rise of online ordering was going to devastate their in-store sales, they only have to look as far as Harris Technology to see that this won't necessarily be the case. With a business that concentrates on three major revenue sources - in-store, mail order and online - Harris said his success has been in building all three without neglecting or over-emphasising any one area.
"Our retail shop is busier than ever," Harris said. "We are doing about $350,000 to $360,000 worth of sales every month via the Web site. Also, the call centre that has been set up for mail-order business is receiving 1100 calls per day."
Proclaiming that next year is going to be a "boom year" for his business, Harris said he is also looking forward to "very healthy figures for December and January".
"For those retailers who are keeping their businesses in order and doing the right thing by their customers, 1999 should be huge," he claims.
When asked for the secret to his recent success, Harris indicates he is constantly trying to improve every aspect of the business. He has found quality service and a broad range of product to be the major keys.
"We have been giving better service in the shop, much better phone service and we now have over 50,000 products on the database - 35,000 of which are on the Web site," Harris said.
"When a customer deals with a professional, well-organised reseller, they think 'this company is good for me' and they keep coming back."