Auburn superstore proprietor bags HN's biggest award

Sydney's Auburn computer superstore and Hewlett-Packard were the big winners from Harvey Norman's Computer and Communications conference award presentations held recently on the Gold Coast.

Auburn superstore franchisee Frank Robinson was voted Best Proprietor by his peers and HP secured Supplier of the Year.

Harvey Norman's week-long conference brought together all 87 computer and communications franchisees as well as selected major suppliers and vendors before culminating in a gala black tie ceremony on February 26. Twenty-one awards were presented including eight state-based "Norman" awards, nine nationwide "Gerry" awards and three major "Harvey" awards.

The Auburn superstore, Harvey Norman's largest, turned over "around $33 million" in the last 12 months and Robinson was emotional about the accolade he received. In accepting his award, he conceded his personal success would not have been possible without the HN retail business model.

As well as its major supplier gong, HP also took out four other awards including two state-based Supplier of the Year accolades (NSW/ACT and Victoria) plus Best Peripheral Supplier and Best Computer Hardware supplier.

Moore Park (Sydney) superstore proprietor Gary Wheelhouse was presented with the other major award for Best Overall Store.

Awards were presented by Harvey Norman Holdings chairman Gerry Harvey who acknowledged the significant role computer and communications have played in the success of the company.

In his acceptance speech, HP's consumer business unit manager, Andrew Cooper, said when he started looking after HN, "the share price was $4.55 - now it's $15.25".

Tony Gattari, general manager, computers and communications, said the conference was an overwhelming success. "It was very much aimed at building relationships between proprietors and suppliers," Gattari said.

"It was a huge success and proprietors will have benefited from networking with suppliers they deal with every day."