In Shops

Retail veteran bent on creating top go-to brand

Harvey Norman's Retail Store in Singapore

The Australian department store giant – a household name here in electronics, computers, furniture and bedding – has steadily expanded its footprint in Singapore, even as the retail sector continues to grapple with headwinds.

Over the weekend, Harvey Norman unveiled a new, two-storey, 38,500 sq ft factory outlet in Chai Chee Road that stocks items at up to 90 per cent off usual prices.

The retail chain has also added to its space at the Parkway Parade store, an expansion that has yet to be officially launched.

“If you take a look at Harvey Norman’s vision – which is to provide the ultimate customer experience – and put it at the centre of everything we do, we have to change our shops to cater to what consumers want today,” Mr Aruldoss explained the operations head.

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He said Harvey Norman has had to evolve alongside consumer habits and tastes, which have changed significantly in recent years.

Offering that ultimate experience means stores must be supported by a solid range of products, which is why Harvey Norman plans to refurbish its other outlets here and roll out new ones.

The physical stores continue to account for over half of its sales here, compared with its online platform.

Still, moves to transform Harvey Norman and make sure it stays on top of its game go beyond just changing the look and feel of its bricks-and-mortar stores.

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The firm is ramping up efforts for its digital platform “in a big way”, to create a more seamless online and offline experience for customers, said Mr Aruldoss.

“We always knew, for many years already, that e-commerce was going to change things. So we’ve got to gear up our online platform to support our stores, and gear up our stores to support our online platform. We have put a lot of things in place for our people to change, and also for consumers to know that we are changing.” he noted.

(Source: Straits times)

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