Gerry Harvey, chairman of Harvey Norman, has said he is sticking by the prominent display of PCs in his retail stores despite a slump in PC sales.
Harvey Norman stores have traditionally given top billing to PC products and Harvey claims this isn't about to change. Meanwhile he says sales of widescreen TVs, DVDs and other home entertainment products have been strong, adding to speculation, the retailer may be considering a rethink on where PCs are placed in relation to electronics.
"What, piss them off and stick something in there that will sell?" joked Harvey. "No, no, nothing's going to change. PCs will retain a prominent position in our stores."
Harvey admitted though, the vote of confidence comes at a cost.
"If we spend a $1000 on an add for a PC and one for a widescreen TV, we'll sell three times as many of the TVs," Harvey told ARN.
"When mum and dad came in to buy a PC, they didn't. Instead they bought one of these [TVs or DVDs]," added Harvey.
Harvey Norman's quarterly results showed the retailer took a big hit in PC sales for Q2 2001 and Harvey doesn't expect PC sales to pick up until January or February next year. He also warned figures for the June quarter could be worse than the Q2 sales.
According to the latest research released by research analysts IDC and Gartner Dataquest, the personal computer market crashed in the quarter ending March 31. Gartner pegged the market at 14.2 per cent negative year on year growth over the corresponding period last year.
Both IDC and Gartner attributed consumer sales for the results, but stated the corporate market rallied somewhat due to corporate expansion and upgrade programs.