Harvey Norman is attempting to overcome technology convergence problems by opeing a one off concept store.
Retailer Harvey Norman is building a digital home concept store in an effort to overcome in store convergence issues. Because of its structure many Harvey Norman stores currently run two operations in one store IT and AV.
Customers wishing to buy an LCD TV and a Media Centre currently have to go to two separate departments and be issued with two separate bills. Harvey Norman is currently trialling 9 stores to offer stop transaction spanning IT and AV. The new one off concept store due to open late in November 2005 will be located in Castle Hill in NSW. John Slack-Smith COO for Harvey Norman said recently” We have separated electrical and computer franchisees. We are looking to make definite changes to our structure to continue the convergence process”.
According to retail analysts Harvey Norman arch enemy Woolworths via their PowerHouse Stores have been winning customers away from Harvey Norman because of their superior store layout, integrated product range and what appears to be better in store staff training resulting in customers getting a better “convergence” experience than Harvey Norman stores where two separate sales staff have to be involved in selling a media centre and a TV screen.
In other moves Paul English who was franchisee of the Dommyne Alexandria store has been appointed business manager at Harvey Norman. Rutland Smith is taking up the GM role vacated by the appointment of John Slacksmith to COO of Harvey Norman.