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COMMENT: Why Gerry Harvey Needs To “Piss Off” Now His Use By Date Is Out

When Gerry Harvey Chairman of Harvey Norman told the Australian Shareholders Association to “piss off” last year after they questioned his actions several analysts questioned whether he was “losing his marbles”.

Now after another questionable spray this time relating to the Coronavirus epidemic many believe it’s now time for Gerry Harvey to “piss off” from being involved with Harvey Norman because his actions are destroying the retailer’s reputation and he is fast becoming a laughingstock among investors.

Australian consumers are already turning on Harvey Norman with social media streams calling for a boycott of the nation’s biggest advertiser after Gerry had another bout of verbal diaphora after he appeared on 60 Minutes claiming that he saw the Coronavirus epidemic as an opportunity to capitalise on closure of retail establishments and the laying off of millions of people.

Across Twitter, #boycottharveynorman has been trending as consumers turn on the 80-year-old boss of Harvey Norman for admitting to capitalising on the pandemic.

Australia’s leading Financial Newspaper The Financial Review described Gerry Harvey as a selfish loudmouth whose constant acting out is likely a manifestation of dementia”.

News Corp have not raised any concerns about Harvey Norman because they act as media protector for the big retailer who spends millions advertising in News Corp publications.

How this works is that Harvey Norman buy cheap media from News Corp then demand that their suppliers pay a premium rate to buy a slice of that media space netting millions in profits for Harvey Norman and News Corp.

Nine Media claimed Harvey’s outrageous comments hadn’t rated a single mention in The Australian, or any of the metro city tabloids or on Sky News.

‘That’s the kind of protection racket Australia’s very last $40 million print advertising account buys you. Within News’ Holt Street bunker, Harvey Norman chief executive Katie Page is openly referred to as “the chairman”. They wrote.

In a direct stab at the likes of Gerry Harvey the Prime Minister Scott Morrison denounced the behaviour of Australians such as Gerry Harvey who on 60 Minutes claimed, “Why are we so scared about getting this virus?”.

“There’s pretty much nothing to get scared of.” he ranted.

The real sting came when the aging executive said, “You know, this is an opportunity Our sales are up … by 9 per cent on last year. Our sales in freezers are up 300 per cent. And what about air purifiers? Up 100 per cent!”

The stark reality is that Gerry Harvey’s use by date is up and he has to go in the best interest of his investors store managers, franchisees whose livelihoods he is threatening with his outbursts.

It will be up to consumers to act as he and his cronies control the shareholding in Harvey Norman.

Consumers need to boycott Harvey Norman stores, senior management who do a great job managing the stores also need to stand up to Katie Page the CEO of Harvey Norman and the wife of Gerry Harvey.

“Enough is enough” they need to tell her.

Consumers are already having some affect as it appears his latest actions are hurting Harvey Norman’s sales.

On Wednesday, Gerry backtracked, offering the least fulsome public apology since Centrelink Minister Stuart Robert really laid it on thick (“my bad”).

“Now everyone thinks I’m this callous old bastard out making a profit on other people’s misery,” he told The Sydney Morning Herald as he desperately tried to back pedal.

“Maybe the wife dug him in the ribs to at least appear to be concerned” said one observer.

Gerry Harvey has a voracious need for adoration, he is always right in his mind.

His attitude is that he is the one that shareholders should be praising not raising questions about his irrational spending on dairy farms or allowing now convicted cons to run his sideline businesses or issues about corporate governance.

The man is fast becoming a freak show which management at the big retailer don’t need especially as the Company now faces massive hurdles due to the Coronavirus.

Gerry Harvey has to go “He has to “piss off back to his horses” said one angry Harvey Norman franchisee who is already sweating on how his store will perform during the next six months.

The Financial Review wrote In old man Gerald’s heyday, being outrageously quotable was a ticket to free publicity – a nice layer of cream on his annual $165 million advertising bill.

While he now rationalises his comments as an attempt to “offer some hope [and] provide a positive view”, there is no suggestion he yet appreciates the foolhardiness of running a dial-a-quote service.

Harvey Norman’s market capitalisation of $3.45 billion means the franchisor is now trading close enough to the value of its real estate portfolio. If finance academics were ever looking to explore the existence of a dickhead discount in equity markets, they have their first exhibit the AFR wrote.

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