Harvey Norman: Growing, not shrinking

Harvey Norman: Growing, not shrinking

Head of computers and communications division rebukes claims the retailer is closing stores, despite a drop in sales figures and margins on last year

Harvey Norman claims it is still growing the business

Harvey Norman claims it is still growing the business

Despite media reports ASX-listed retailer, Harvey Norman (ASX: HVN), will close stores as a consequence of the economic climate, the company claims it is expanding.

Harvey Norman general manager of computers and communications, Luke Naish, confirmed the retailer had shut down its Dubbo and Muswellbrook stores, but said both had a small footprint and were countered by three new stores being opened.

"The stores shut down were old Retravision locations we gained as part of the acquisition," Naish said. "I'm not aware of any other stores that have been earmarked for closure, and we're opening three stores – one in South Australia, Queensland, and a huge outlet in Frankston, Melbourne."

Harvey Norman has experienced a slow-down in growth in the last financial year – at 8.7 per cent for the financial year ending June 30, down from 16.5 per cent the previous year.

The retailer has also begun releasing weekly like-for-like sales reports via the ASX, comparing the monthly sales figures with those of the previous year. Each of these reports has demonstrated a decrease ranging from 0.8 per cent to 5.8 per cent, and all claim that retail margins remain under pressure due to the economic climate.

This strategy, which aims to indicate to the public the state of retail in Australia, has come under criticism from online retailers that have claimed that strong growth continues.

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