Gerry Harvey: No One Makes Money From The Internet

Everyone has a out of touch Grandad. That poor old bugger that simply cannot move with the times. Gerry Harvey is Australia's Granddad. The more out of touch he becomes, the more difficult it is to get angry with regards to his ancient out of touch ideas - one can only feel sorry for him. As Gerry Harvey prepares to drag his giant, lumbering company online, he has come out with another corker: “They’re kicking us on the internet at the moment but there’s no history of anyone making money on it."


He has also claimed that his move online has been a forced one, a move that will "cannibalise" his stores.

This is not a parody. It's not an April fools story. I am not making this up.

“By this time next year you’ll see Harvey Norman with a pretty sizeable internet presence. My heart’s beating very strongly on whether we make any money out of it.

“I haven’t got any choice. I’ve got to cannibalise our stores."

Gerry Harvey - entrepreneur, multi-millionaire, Australia's embarrassing Granddad.

Harvey Norman to open online store [News]


    Change is bad. Back in my day everything was the same all the time.


    My first reaction was to agree with you Mark... but the more I think about it, how much do people make online?

    JBHifi and GAME (in my limited experience, there may be others) can sell items for ~$10 less online as an "online-only" price. Okay, there are probably reduced overheads because they're not keeping a shop... but they've still got 5000 stores all over the place that need to be maintained.

    So, are they making more or less money by selling a game online for $10 less than they would instore...? I'm sort of interested to know, because if they're selling some items at a loss in the hope people will buy more things (which I never do - ha!) it may help explain his view that [to be competitive] you stand a good chance of losing/making less money.

    That all being said, Gerry Harvey is appearing more and more out of touch - he's been touting these same views for as long as I can remember...

      when harvey says they make no money online he means they don't make half the retail price in profit like he does.

      If JB sells a million DVD's at a 1 dollar profit each and it only cost's them 100k to maintain the warehouse there still making a tidy profit.

      Harvey is of the old school where you make insane amount of profits by screwing your customers.

      the internet market isn't about major profit from each sale. It's mass sales with minor profit

        I'd instead argue that the internet market isn't about many small profit sales, but about convenience, lower prices and wider range of stock.

    Haaaaaaahahahahahaha! Gerry Harvey, you so craaaaazy.

    Also, you've just made an enemy out of Gerry Harvey, Mark. The next time he pops onto A Current Affair/Today Tonight, he will bring you up and mention how dem foreigners are stealins our jerbs from good ostraylans!

    Say What!?

    I wonder if he wears an onion on his belt..?

      It wouldn't be a white one because he couldn't get them at the time. Because of the war you see.

        Oh, bitch, bitch, bitch.

      That was the style at the time.


      "i owned the first radio in springfield... not much on the air then, just Eddison reciting the alphabet... A he'd say, then B, C would usually follow"

        Fell over laughing on that one....

      I used to be with IT, then they changed what IT was. Now what I'm with, isn't IT and what's IT seems weird and scary. It'll happen to yoooouuu.

      Thanks dude, that was the funniest comment I've read today!

    How dare the man be forced to compete in the modern marketplace!

    Don’t mumble all amongst yourselves. Speak up!
    (I lost my earhorn the other day on the bus.)
    You would think by the way you whippersnappers make a fuss
    that I said something crazy, profound or obscene.
    Wait, where’d the ocean go? Where have you taken me?

    Ah Gerry Harvey, what a cracker. The first change since 19-dickety-two.

    I actually went to the Harvey Norman website a few times in the hopes of finding product lists including games and computer accessories.

    This is probably a year or two ago now, but when I found the website it was pretty much what you would expect from your average retailer, a little cramped, not the best colour scheme and covered in dozens of frames from the look of it.

    What was really surprising was that they did have a list of product categories, and under that there were sub categories, and sometimes even those had sub-sub-categories.

    The problem is they were empty. Every one of them.

    This massive retailer had gone out and gotten themselves a site, put their name all over it, got the whole listing of products on the webpage set up, but then never bothered to add the products. I swear it was like that for months before I ever saw a single product.

    If he was genuinely fearful for his stores he'd be lowering his franchise fees.

    An internet presence won't be any good if it still charges ridiculous prices.

    One word Gerry. Amazon.

    I won't type up an entire wall-of-text against Gerry, as I'm only one Degree-of-Separation from him, but I hope he wakes up before he does more harm than good to the Harvey Norman brand. I also pray he doesn't do his online stores like Myer has done either. Their online store misses the point entirely of what the benefits of online shopping are and is nothing but a joke. Not the funny 'haha' joke either...

      Harvey has no imagination. Just think, he could have proved himself wrong already by shifting more resources to warehouses and setting up the Australian Amazon franchise. He could have made a killing! Think about how it is for people who have it locally... think about same day shipping, much lower shipping prices. Even with competitive pricing he could have been a contender.

      I'd be concerned about giving him ideas, only he wouldn't know what to do with one in the first place.

      To be fair, perhaps Gerry hasn't heard of Amazon, but I'm sure he's heard of Officeworks. Of course Officeworks don't make any money though being a part of the Coles Group. That's just silly.

      I think Clonetrooper nailed it. It's not that money isn't being made - it's the amount of money being made.

    I haven't been in a Hardly Normals store in years.

    I really should pass this on to the boys at penny arcade...

    Can I take him home? I need a good laugh/court jester around the place.

    They don't make money on the internet.

    Which is why you're getting your ass handed to you and you have to move onto the internet to compete.

    Oh...they truncated your quote:

    “They’re kicking us on the internet at the moment but there’s no history of anyone making [the kind of] money [that pays for the upkeep on Habourside mansions and expensive luxury supercars] on it.”

    There, no we understand you Gerry.

    Not make money online? There are plenty of examples of firms that do. And even if a retail firm does not make it directly, if it has a good website it provides potential customers with information about products that they may well then go and purchase from that firms 'bricks & mortar' store. I, and many others I know, do just that. If I am researching for a purchase I go online. Saves time and money. If a firm does not have a product listed I will not waste my time and fuel visiting their store. I have a message for Mr G Harvey - Talk to some REAL customers and ask them what they like/dislike about your business, and also REDUCE your TV advertising (which only annoys people and makes them actually avoid your stores,) and get a real good informative and usable website. Oh, and if I am EVER in one of your stores again, I would like it if a staff member could actually come up to me and ask me if I need assistance, rather then me having to hunt one down.

    @ Adam Ruch - The only constant is change.

      Let's face it the only reason Harvey Norman ever makes money is they offer insane no/low deposit interest free terms that every man and his dog wants to use.

      From this simple consumer driven lack of funds up front HN derive their inflated retail prices from.

      A one shot business model that has worked time and time again.

      Two reasons HN don't want to go online -

      1. The cannibilising effect of franchising, Gerry has seen the issues with this when all the computer manufacturers starting selling direct and the whole supply chain diminished.

      2. Profit margin, how do you compete with lower margins, no more room to offer interest free terms because Internet shopping is about comparison shopping, not no upfront money high profit margin and pay it off over years of monthly installments.

      I agree HN could seriously be the amazon of Australia. Too bad they have a short sighted lack of vision and innovation at their helm.

    I buy games from ozgameshop because I don't have much disposable income and they sell me games cheap. But do you know what? They have been there for me when I needed them. If I won the lottery tomorrow I wouldn't buy a game from harvey or EB I'd still buy from ozgameshop.

      Hey thanks for alerting me to ozgameshop. Have been looking for a good LOW price for StarCraft II and ozgameshop price beats even Ebay, and free delivery too. Fantastic.

    Harvey Norman's game selection and pricing suck. Take a look in the "bargin bin" and you will probably find a game from 2007 for 50 bucks.
    How do you feel? incredible!

    Too late!!! We've ran out of I.P. addresses Gerry!!!!

      Bravo! [Slow Clap]

      Yeah, I'm violating your trademark Serrels. What are you gonna do about it?

    I wonder if the Harvey Norman web site will have a pay gate or subscription model just to see the store?

    Gerry Harvey Facepalm FTW

    So clearly Ebay; Book Depository; Google; Amazon are just not making money... just so darn inadequate when it comes to the big bucks...

    Either Gerry's gotten senile too quickly or his smoking the same stuff Gaddafi's enjoying.

    God damn you, people, hanging shit on Gerry Harvey is MY job around this here Kotaku site! I go to a meeting for an hour come back and find people have muscled in on my Gerry-bashing turf. I HATE YOU ALL!

    *stalks off muttering darkly under breath*

    It could be that he's exaggarating so that people will think there are amazing bargains to be had on the new online store.

    Maybe he's concerned that by setting up online, he'll drag the profitability of his retail stores down, since people will start to buy online rather than go to the store.

    But if thats the case, and if he's doing his costing right, that should still be a profitable enterprise.

    So if he's expecting to cannibalise his retail store customer base with profitable internet sales, shouldnt his business still be making money?

    Oh wait, they won't make as much money as ripping off misinformed customers who don't go online and only shop in the retail stores. Riiiiiight....

      The problem he's got is that he doesn't actually own all the stores. A lot (most? all?) of them are franchises so it's not like he's just getting the same money into his pocket from the web presence that he was getting from the physical stores. He's actually taking money away from his franchisees by doing this, and you can bet that they won't be happy.

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