Gerry Harvey is an entrepreneur, one of Australia’s best-known retailers, a family man, breeder of race horses and Chairman of Harvey Norman Holdings Limited, the owner of the iconic retail brand names: Harvey Norman, Domayne and Joyce Mayne.
As retail entrepreneur, Gerry Harvey has achieved success not once but twice. He and business partner, Ian Norman started out in 1961 to establish the Norman Ross chain of stores which, by 1982, totalled 42 throughout New South Wales and Queensland. In 1982 Gerry and Ian Norman sold Norman Ross. October 1982 saw Gerry and Ian start Harvey Norman with one store in Auburn, Sydney. During the next ﬁve years Gerry expanded the business to total 13 stores across New South Wales. The company ﬂoated in 1987 and this was the springboard for massive growth.
Harvey Norman attributes its outstanding performance over the past 30 years to a successful integrated retail, franchise and property system. As at 31 December 2011, there were 216 franchised complexes throughout Australia trading under 3 brand names: Harvey Norman (185 complexes), Domayne (16 complexes) and Joyce Mayne (15 complexes). The retail offering in offshore markets has rapidly expanded over the past few years with 73 company-owned stores located in New Zealand (31 stores), Ireland (14 stores), Northern Ireland (2 stores), Singapore (13 stores), Malaysia (7 stores) and Slovenia (5 stores). In October 2011, we entered into the Croatian market and opened our ﬁrst store at Zagreb, the capital of Croatia. Harvey Norman has capitalised on its dominant market position, strong ﬁnancial stewardship and low gearing to seize opportunities in the marketplace. Harvey Norman acquired the assets of 28 Clive Peeters and Rick Hart stores in July 2010 and subsequently converted 19 of the former Clive Peeters stores to Harvey Norman and 2 to Joyce Mayne. This acquisition and subsequent rebranding, has bolstered our dominance in the local market. Gerry personally owns around 30 per cent of Harvey Norman Holdings Ltd and his retailing genius has laid the foundations and culture that is now driving the business forward. A major contributing factor to the success of the retail home and ofﬁce-wares company is Gerry’s retailing savvy. He understands market trends, has the tools, the timing and the business acumen to successfully respond to demands in the marketplace. One trend that Gerry picked perfectly was the home computer market. The computer phenomenon was established in 1987 as part of electrical sales. Today the computers and communications concept represents almost 30 per cent of retail sales by Harvey Norman franchisees and is a separate category in its own right.
Gerry has been quoted as saying: “I’ve never been afraid to try something new.” It is a tribute to Gerry’s entrepreneurial spirit that he gives a good idea room to grow. If the idea shows promise and is paying its way, he’ll provide the resources for it to bloom. In a similar way that’s how he manages his staff. He gives you a desk and the resources and says: “go to it”. When staff need advice or want to chat, it’s very common for them to tap on his open ofﬁce door and ask: “Do you have a minute?” It’s rare for him to decline. Gerry remains, despite his personal success, approachable and down-to-earth.
Company P rofile
Harvey Norman – The Company
Harvey Norman Holdings Limited is a public company that is listed on the Australian Stock Exchange, whose principal activities primarily consist of an integrated franchising, retail and property enterprise.
Australian Franchise System
Harvey Norman operates predominantly under a franchise system in Australia and consistently delivers an unparalleled retail offering to Australian consumers with an extensive product range, cutting-edge technology and market leadership in key product categories. Harvey Norman Holdings Limited grants franchises to independent business...