Harvey Norman aiming to impress in Singapore

harvey normanHarvey Norman’s new 100,00sqft flagship in Singapore that is scheduled to open later this year will be a, “statement to the Asian market”, according to Harvey Norman’s COO, John Slack-Smith.

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The redevelopment of Harvey’s Norman existing site at Millenia Walk, a shopping centre in Singapore, will see the store, which is slated open its doors on December 1, more than double in size. Outside of Australia and New Zealand, Harvey Norman operates in Singapore, Malaysia, Slovenia, Croatia, Ireland, and Northern Ireland.

Last month, Harvey Norman announced its net profit after tax improved 26.6 per cent to $268.1 million for the full year ended June 30.

Excluding property revaluations, annual net profit was up 19 per cent to $261.84 million, from $220.1 million. Global sales of $6.02 billion were up 4.6 per cent on a like for like basis compared to the year before.

“[Millenia Walk] will be one of the single best stores in the entire company, if not the best store,” Slack-Smith told Inside Retail Weekly of the soon to be opened Singapore flagship.

“It will be a statement to the Asian market. We believe it will be a very positive contributor to our ability to further grow in markets such as a Singapore and Malaysia.”

International Harvey Norman stores are company-owned and operated and replicate the fitout and offer of Australian stores. However, Slack-Smith said the new Singapore site will be a “house of brands” with an increased presence of concessions.

UK plans on hold
Speaking to Inside Retail Weekly on the brand’s international expansion plans, Slack-Smith said Harvey Norman will also look to launch in mainland Britain – but only once the, “Ireland operation is profitable and conditions are right”.

Currently, Harvey Norman has two stores in Northern Ireland and 10 in Ireland.

“We expect our Ireland operation to break even this current financial year and we continue to be encouraged by our Irish management team’s efforts to improve the business,” he said.

“We’ve got to a position now where the brand is strong [in Ireland and Northern Ireland], the economy is rapidly improving, and we see a bright future. But we need to see sustained growth in both revenue and profit.

“We absolutely have plans about mainland Britain, it’s just a question of when. And we don’t have firm plans as to when that will be yet.”

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