Harris Technology sells to Coles-Myer

It was only a matter of time before the big boys of Australian retail took notice of Harris Technology's sustained dynamic success and did something about it. Yesterday action was taken.

HT's managing director, Ron Harris, told ARN Daily yesterday afternoon that "100 per cent" of his company had been sold to Australia's largest retail company, the Coles-Myer organisation.

Coles-Myer has been looking at ways to increase its presence in both Internet sales and the computers and communications category. The purchase of HT allows them to rapidly accelerate that expansion as well as acquire some leading-edge retail systems, e-commerce technology and presence, and a huge new customer base.

Having negotiated with three other overseas-based companies, Harris said he was pleased to be able to come to terms with an Australian company.

"We've developed some leading-edge technology here and to be now working with an Australian company which is the largest in its field in this country is great for the future.

"The Harris Technology name will remain, as will the staff," he said. "It will be run as a separate business unit just as Coles-Myer does with all its separate companies.

"I will remain as the chief executive officer and will continue to run the business for the next three years at least.

"We talked to several parties but this was by far the best for the company, the staff and the owner," he added.

Of future plans for the business, Harris said: "There will be other Harris Technology shops opening around the country and there could even be staffed HT kiosks in many other Coles-Myer stores like Grace Bros or Kmart where we can take orders and give advice."

"The nature of the Internet means that our store is available anywhere in Australia where a connection to the Internet can be accessed, so the potential is unlimited," he added.

Harris Technology began operations eight years ago as a humble North Sydney computer shop before blossoming into a major player in computer retailing. Its catalogue and Internet-generated sales have seen spectacular growth in the last five years with the Web site now selling over 33,000 technology products and generating in excess of $500,000 worth of sales a month.

Harris said both parties had agreed to keep the sale price under wraps.

"Both parties are very happy with the deal and are keen to get on with the business of working together."