Australian billionaire retailer states online retail is a dead-end con

In Australia they do things differently. North is hot, south is cold, Barbies are something to cook on and online retail is nothing but an elaborate con.

That's the opinion of billionaire Australian retailer Gerry Harvey who founded one of Oz's largest retail chains, Harvey Norman. He stated in an interview,

Online people do not make any money,” Harvey also told SmartCompany. “The whole world was conned with online retailing. People say I’m a dinosaur, and I’ve had people coming to me with sites and saying, ‘Oh, look at this, they have 10,000 or 20,000 hits!’ – but it’s a con, a complete con.”

We're guessing Gerry hasn't even cracked those AOL Online floppies he got in the post 10 years ago. Maybe he hasn't quite worked out the dial-up on his Pentium 75 so he wasn't able to get online and check out the £4.74 billion sales in the UK alone during November.

Harvey Norman chalked up a classic quarterly performance with a -31.5% loss in pre-tax profit with their shares falling 13% on the 25th November in the biggest one-day fall in over 20 years.

It's a big desert out there in Aussie land with a lot of sand to stick your head into.


  • Anna
    Plus the phrase "Harvey Norman" topped the Google Zeitgeist 2008 searches for Australian stores. And he doesn't even have an online presence. Meh.
  • casparwhite
    this guy has got too much money he doesnt know what to do with it anyway. should see the house his son has got in seaforth sydney! never mind his own house australia is crap for online shopping practically non-existant
  • Bob
    Good for Australia, let them keep buying from shops whilst we in the UK will carry on buying on-line and saving shedloads, who sasid they were backwards?
  • Au Z.
    Whats the difference between a pot of yoghurt and an austrailian? Leave a yoghurt on the beach for 200 years and it WILL have a culture!
  • Ows
    Anna, he DOES have an online presence (although it's a shockingly horrid effort):
  • Anna
    @ Ows - maybe I should rephrase that. I meant you cannot buy online.
  • SITS
    @Anna - I got you. Everyone has a website. Not everyone does online retail.
  • Ows
    @ Anna. Apologies, I misunderstood!
  • Bitterwallet B.
    [...] Bitterwallet has arrived in Australia. Sort of. From our story on Australian retailer Gerry Harvey sprung the headline “Poms Mock Gerry Harvey Over Online Attitude”, although they seemed [...]

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