Harvey Norman has a sale

The Compaq name was seen on the Harvey Norman shelves again last week, although only for a brief guest appearance. The recalcitrant retailer included, among others, some Compaq Presario desktops as part of a recent "$2 million sellout" in its Sydney stores, leaving the vendor puzzled.

Compaq Australia consumer director Rob Balmer assured ARN that the stock was not supplied directly by the vendor, and, while the door to Compaq was always open for the retailer, he was "concerned that its product would be sold by a non-authorised reseller".

"Our concern is with the support for consumers, which is the reason we have authorised resellers," Balmer added.

He did not want to speculate on the source of the stock, but commented that it was "very interesting to note that of the brands that Harvey Norman advertised in the sale, they led with Compaq."

The sale, which was advertised in Sydney's Sunday newspapers, must have been a success. Calls to several Harvey Norman stores on Tuesday last week revealed that the Presario model was a hot seller, with none left on the shelves by lunchtime. As to the source of the Presarios, a Harvey Norman spokesperson confirmed they did not come direct from the vendor, but was not willing to reveal the supplier.

Harvey Norman is still committed to its major brands and the sale was a one-off opportunity, he added.