Online consumer electronics brand, Kogan Technologies, has lashed out at Harvey Norman’s plan to unleash weekly sales figures to indicate the state of retail.
Kogan founder, Ruslan Kogan, claimed most people are shopping online to get better value for their dollars in the prevailing poor economic climate.
“It’s a bit naïve and arrogant to assume that we can see how the Australian retail economy is going based on sales from Harvey Norman retail stores,” he said. “Educated consumers are definitely turning to shopping online. Business has been booming for us, increasing 20 per cent on a monthly basis, whereas a lot of retailers are recording slower sales.”
In a statement Harvey Norman chairman, Gerry Harvey, said he would release weekly sales reports over the next four weeks to provide some guidance as to conditions in the retail sector.
“Sales turnover for the franchised Harvey Norman stores in Australia is indicative of retail market conditions in Australia,” he said.
Leading Edge Computers, CEO, Keith Lane, supported Harvey’s plans.
“I think the retail market is softening, but I think we’ll have a good Christmas,” Lane said. “I’ve lived through a few of these, and like Gerry, I’ll keep a cool head and won’t panic, everything’s going to be OK. We’re not going to have the same economic impact like the UK and US.”
Lane added that the two quarters leading to June 2008 were soft, but he was still trading ahead of last year.
“The second quarter hasn’t been too bad and I think the tax rebate in July stimulated that a bit,” he said. “Whilst it's softening it hasn’t come to a grinding halt.”