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Home loans made clear

Hardly Normal shutting down in Woden

By johnboy 23 February 2012 50

Smarthouse has the news that Harvey Norman are closing down their Woden operation after thirty years trading:

Harvey Norman COO John Slack-Smith claims that the decision not to renew the Woden lease after 30 years of trading at Woden was based on “commercial grounds”.

A NSW franchisee said “This is just the start, I think you will see more store closures as leases become due especially in locations where the landlord is not going to take a cut in their lease deal”.

They added “Westfield has several organisations wanting to get into their shopping malls so they are not going to take a bath on a lease just because Harvey Norman is performing poorly. Where Harvey Norman is a key tenant the situation could be different”.

Further comments by Slack-Smith suggest they’re looking for another southside location. Plenty of room in the Hyperdome?

What’s Your opinion?


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Hardly Normal shutting down in Woden
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Peewee Slasher 2:36 pm 28 Feb 12

Well … if there are zombies and monsters there, I’m staying way.
Oh, would would win in a battle?

Funky1 1:59 pm 28 Feb 12

Retailers need to move with the times and work with technology, not try to fight it.

I remember seeing a story a little while ago about retail stores in large Asian cities that allow and encourage you to go in and try before you buy but then go home and order online. They offer a membership card or something similar so they have your details and buying preferences on file. They can upload the details of the items you have tried and liked, either onto the card or onto your online account with them, so when you go home, you can decide exactly what you want to buy, order it online and have it delivered. Saves having to carry all your purchases around with you while you’re out shopping or if you were shopping in your lunch hour or on your way out somewhere else, again you don’t have to lug your purchases around. Especially useful if you use public transport too (which is more then likely in large Asian cities).

So it’s all about convenience and service and using technology to your advantage. Now imagine of HN embraced this style of business. Does anyone know of any retailer in Aus using this yet?

Ryoma 9:58 am 28 Feb 12

When I had to move house some time ago, I needed to buy a fair few appliances. After having a look around, I found HN Fyshwick to be the best place on both price and service for the majority of what I was looking for.

This was mostly down to a young bloke called Calum, who said he was a science graduate. After asking him some hard questions about energy-efficiency related stuff, he impressed me that he knew what he was talking about, and he even taught me a few things along the way! And he gave me a good deal on what we bought.

Having said that, on a wider scale, I seriously wonder how any large retailer that has to pay rent to landlordfs such as the Westfield group, and then wages/insurance/tax whatever on top can compete with a online retialer selling the same products from a warehouse and delivers to your fornt door.

And how long is it (maybe when all of the existing contracts run out?) until manufacturers of various appliances work out that they would do better establishing their own versions of selling online directly, and do away with retail partners altogether?

I, for one, am not the least bit keen on shopping centres. Park your car under a building that dominates the landscape (I’m talking about you, Westfielld Belconnen!) in a place where there is no responsibility for what happens to your car while it is there (look carefully at the conditions on your next parking tickket, or up on the wall as you drive in). Then walk through lots of other cars and into the start of the scrum.

Eventually find the store you are looking for, only to be served by a teenager who would rather talk to his/her friend on their mobile phone, and find out either that the product is expensive, or that it’s not in stock. Alternatively, if it’s any more complicated than a powerplug, they have no idea what to do, or in fact who could help (after all, that’s your problem, customer, not mine).

Not all stores are like this, of course, nor all teenagers in retial jobs, or, indeed, in general. But I’d often rather just do stuff on-line, because I don’t find the social aspect of shopping the least bit exciting (however, Mrs. Ryoma begs to differ, and often does so, loudly!…hahahaa).

But if I’m in any way typical (and I’m not sure I am, maybe I’m just getting old!), then what will our shopping centres look like in a decade? Women’s fashion stores, a food court (because all that walking around takes energy), and maybe a cinema…is that enough to fill the amount of space available? Or will the floors of empty shops be turned into both office space and/or apartments?

What does everyone think?

LSWCHP 8:32 pm 26 Feb 12

c_c said :

The articles report the Fyshwick store is one of the best performing in the country, assumedly second only to those in Western Sydney. That’s not a good sign for the intelligence of Canberrans. If Harvey Norman is making a profit anywhere in Canberra, there’s a lot of suckers taking those add ons.

You got that right. Whenever I want to make a major purchase I always make a quick trip to HN. This tells me what the absolute upper price limit of the item is, and I then go and purchase the same item for less money elsewhere.

c_c 2:10 pm 26 Feb 12

Frustrated said :

Domayne is owned by Harvey’s wife isn’t it.

Or for business purposes he stuck ownership in her name.

The “Mrs Domayne” story is part a rewriting of history, and part a convenient way for staff at Domayne and HN to try and make the stores seem more detached than they really are. In reality Domayne was always a part of and owned by Harvey Norman.

Domayne and Harvey Norman, along with Joyce Mayne and more recently Clive Peters all belong to the Derni Group, a subsidiary of Harvey Norman Holdings which is responsible for the franchise operations and inventory. If you look carefully on the freight tags of larger items from these stores, you’ll even see Derni listed on it. And Gift cards for any of the stores are actually Derni Gift Cards, the fine print reveals they’re not actually tied to the brand printed on it.

Harvey’s wife is Katie Page, she started out as a secretary at Harvey Norman Ltd and later married Gerry Harvey.

She has since become CEO of the company. Details of her involvement and Domayne’s history are scant, but it appears that Domayne was a pet project for her within the HN company. Domayne was intended to attracted those who wouldn’t typically shop at Harvey Norman.

She has also being the force behind the expansion of Harvey Norman into Ireland and Slovenia, expansions which the media reports are problematic.

TP 3000 said :

c_c said :

The articles report the Fyshwick store is one of the best performing in the country, assumedly second only to those in Western Sydney. That’s not a good sign for the intelligence of Canberrans.

The Fyshwick store shares the top 2 spots with the Gold Coast store.

Yeah that really says Canberrans aren’t trying hard enough and are been suckers.
In the electrical section, it means they’re falling for add ons.
The favourite being extended warranty which, you guessed it, Harvey Norman owns the warranty company.

In the furniture section, it means they’re not driving a hard enough bargain, I mean most of the stock has well over 70% margin!

Mr Evil 11:00 am 26 Feb 12

Sad to see it close after all this time, but I guess that’s progress! Maybe if Gerry didn’t screw the crap out of all his franchisees, then this kind of thing wouldn’t be happening. Also, as someone else mentioned, Dick Smith and JB HiFi are much better stores for most of the stuff I need.

As to the Tuggeranong Myer, I was speaking to a lady at the Belcompten Myer, and she said she’d be very surprised if Myer moved to Woden at all, as with the downturn in retail sales Myer has already closed 11 stores so she thought it’d be strange that they’d be building a new one in a location that would be in competition with a well established David Jones store. Plus, she was saying that they were told the new store was going to be located separate to the Westfield Woden in its own building.

TP 3000 1:58 am 26 Feb 12

c_c said :

The articles report the Fyshwick store is one of the best performing in the country, assumedly second only to those in Western Sydney. That’s not a good sign for the intelligence of Canberrans.

The Fyshwick store shares the top 2 spots with the Gold Coast store.

Holditz 12:45 am 26 Feb 12

shirty_bear said :

Sure enough, people everywhere. But mostly standing in line at the checkouts, looking glum.

Glum because the lines are LONG. The discounts seem to be good, but there’s a few things that haven’t moved much, further cutting next week may be on the cards.

Went to the games section(!), noted that there were Playstation Vita games there. I asked if they had any of the units, but was told none 🙁

Frustrated 10:51 pm 25 Feb 12

c_c said :

Thoroughly Smashed said :

justjbhere said :

Maybe Doymane could move there and the staff keep their jobs.

I don’t see how another retail store operating the same sales model (and with the same owners, no less!) is going to find any more success.

Domayne is Harvey Norman, they not only have the same parent company but share inventory and admin. Difference is because Domayne is just HN with high prices and confused branding, they do even worse… even with some price fixing between them and HN where located nearby.

Domayne is owned by Harvey’s wife isn’t it. Or for business purposes he stuck ownership in her name.

c_c 3:32 pm 24 Feb 12

Thoroughly Smashed said :

justjbhere said :

Maybe Doymane could move there and the staff keep their jobs.

I don’t see how another retail store operating the same sales model (and with the same owners, no less!) is going to find any more success.

Domayne is Harvey Norman, they not only have the same parent company but share inventory and admin. Difference is because Domayne is just HN with high prices and confused branding, they do even worse… even with some price fixing between them and HN where located nearby.

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