Reselling giant Harris Technology will open new retail outlets and corporate sales offices in Canberra and Perth in the next few months as the company continues to entice the small business market outside of Sydney and Melbourne.
The push for expanding Harris’ retail operations geographically - established by Harris Technology founder Ron Harris prior to his retirement - was now being pursued vigorously by his successor, David Foster. In November, Foster restructured the company around a “state-based territory” model whereby retail outlets and corporate sales offices would be coupled in each state.
In an interview with ARN, Foster said he planned to “dramatically increase Harris’ presence” around Australia. “We realise we have to be out there facing the customer,” he said. “The small business area is our heartland and that is the way they like to do business. They like to touch and feel the product and receive personalised service.”
With such outlets already up and running for more than two years in Sydney (North Ryde) and Melbourne (Abbotsford) – the company first looked to Brisbane and Canberra as the next steps in its geographic expansion.
In December 2002, the company opened a Brisbane office consisting of a Business Centre (essentially a retail store for small business customers), coupled with a corporate sales centre. This centre houses outbound corporate sales staff and also some inbound staff to answer the 1300 number calls from Harris Technology local advertising campaigns.
For several months, the company has been attempting to mimic this same strategy in Canberra. But opening an outlet in the nation’s capital has proven more difficult than first thought. Foster attributed the delay to difficulties in selecting an appropriate site for the outlet.
“Nevertheless we have been doing our fair share of business down there - at the moment we have reps that travel back and forth, but no physical presence,” he said.
Harris Technology has now found suitable premises in Fyshwick, an outer Canberra suburb.
For more on Harris Technology's expansion plans, see this week's edition of ARN.