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Harvey Norman to go upmarket in Sydney, eyes IoT play

Following the success of its Millenia Walk superstore in Singapore, retailer Harvey Norman is planning to launch a new upmarket store format in Australia.

According to reports, the first new format store will launch in Sydney, ahead of a national rollout.

Harvey Norman chairman Gerry Harvey says the company is looking to capitalise on international expansion opportunities, as it looks to reap more than half of its profit from outside of Australia.

“We are delighted with the improved profitability of our stores outside Australia. Our Millenia Walk flagship store in Singapore has positioned the brand very well and the Asian business recorded a profit of $11.36 million,” Harvey says.

“This is a substantial turnaround from the $6.03 million loss reported the year before.”

The announcement comes on the back of Harvey Norman reporting a 30% increase in net profit, as Australia remains hungry for housing and connected devices.

Harvey says the 'record result' is built on strong performances from operations in New Zealand, Singapore, Malaysia and Ireland.

Reports suggest the release of its full year results indicate Harvey Norman’s plans to become Australia’s major Internet of Things reseller.

In reporting its results, the retailer says franchisees have already capitalised on the demand for connected devices, including fitness trackers, home automation and security and entertainment.

“From connected fitness to home automation to intelligent mattresses, franchisees are selling the devices and technology so customers can connect their home, their work, their health and fitness and their recreation,” Harvey says.

“The possibilities are enormous and we see it as a sustainable retail trend that franchisees intend to be at the forefront of with the best service and expertise and leading products,” said Mr Harvey. 

Back in March, Harvey confirmed it was ‘crunching the numbers’ on taking over Dick Smith’s Move stores at Sydney Airport. Dick Smith founded the Move brand back in 2014 in response to a gap in the market for consumer electronics as fashion accessories.

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