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After Pocketing $12M Harvey Norman Set To Reopen NZ stores

They pocketed NZ$12.7 from the New Zealand Government because of COVID-19 restrictions, now Harvey Norman is set to re-open their 30 stores in NZ after a seven-week break.

Harvey Norman Chairman Gerry Harvey claims the NZ lockdown had been among the tougher measures of the eight countries the group trades in.

What’s not known at this stage is how well their Australian business has performed during the pandemic due in part to a shortage of stock.

The Company even resorted to trying to sell 12-month-old 65″ Panasonic TV’s for over $8K when a 2020 65″ LG NanoCell complete with Gen 3 processor was retailing for less than $3K.

Harvey expects his 30 stores to experience a sales bump from May 14 when retail across the board can reopen after lockdown laws there were relaxed further today.

Analysts claim that going forward his retail network will suffer from a shortage of consumer electronics and appliances.

Sony has told ChannelNews that they won’t have 2020 TV’s and some audio products for sale in Australia or New Zealand until late August.

Also facing supply problems are Hewlett Packard, Lenovo, Acer and TV brand Hisense.

A search of NZ Government retail sites shows that while Harvey Norman was paid NZ$12.7M to pay 1800 staff archrival JB Hi Fi failed to make a claim on the NZ Government.

JB Hi-Fi temporarily shut its 14 stores in New Zealand from late March. Kathmandu is readying to open its 48 stores in NZ from this Thursday now the green light has been given, with all retailers required to have strict hygiene measures in place, including physical distancing. Kathmandu outlined an Australian reopening from May 8 last week.

Large shopping centres have remained open throughout the coronavirus pandemic in Australia, but not all retailers inside the centres have chosen to open.

Scentre Group chief executive Peter Allen said yesterday that 57 per cent of the retailers in Westfield malls were open. The owner of 42 Westfield malls announced on Monday it would not pay an interim dividend.

A month ago, just 39 per cent of Scentre’s 3600 retailers were trading.

The mall owner said shopper numbers during March and April dropped to 39 per cent of the previous year’s level, because of restrictions by governments to combat the coronavirus pandemic.

Gerry Harvey said the group’s stores in Slovenia and Croatia were open again.

“There’s been different rules all over the place,” Mr Harvey told the Australian Financial Review.

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