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Harvey Norman

Whilst wandering about this morning I had the radio on and heard Gerry Harvey bleating about how the woeful performance of company is now the fault of the government. Which is a welcome change because last week it was those evil online shoppers.

If they gave a prize for the billionaire who does the most whinging he would surely be in the top 3.

This prompted me to have a look at HVN which you can see below is anything but stellar.

Whilst, everything you hear is about how bad the retail sector is at present the performance of HVN needs to be put into perspective. Up until a little while ago you could not purchase products online via their store.

Their version of an online store was to have a pdf version of the catalogue they stick in your mailbox. I might add that we have had online shopping for almost two decades.

When you look at HVN what you see is the result of various management decisions and a profound reluctance to accept that the world has changed. I compare HVN to Zappos the online shoe and clothing retailer.  I see an old company run by old men as opposed to a new vibrant company run by young people with new ideas and a willingness to embrace change and to just be a little bit odd.

Zappos is a fascinating corporate story that shows how not only embracing change but treating people decently can produce extraordinary results.

These are the core values of Zappos

  • Deliver WOW Through Service
  • Embrace and Drive Change
  • Create Fun and A Little Weirdness
  • Be Adventurous, Creative, and Open-Minded
  • Pursue Growth and Learning
  • Build Open and Honest Relationships With Communication
  • Build a Positive Team and Family Spirit
  • Do More With Less
  • Be Passionate and Determined
  • Be Humble

Next time you are in an established Australian retailer see whether you are greeted with WOW service as opposed to some surly bastard whose attitude is more reflective of someone with a Rubiks cube up their backside.






  1. Their hiring policy is also genius –

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