Harvey has gone on ABC local radio in Sydney this morning to signal that Harvey
Norman IS really interested in buying all of the Myer Department store chain
from Coles Myer.

He told
Virginia Trioli on ABC 702 that, if successful, Harvey
Norman would keep “all 51 stores.” He said
the retailer needed a change in “culture, a change in merchandising and a change
in way it did business…

culture there (in Myer) is not as strong as it should be.” He said
Myer had struggled for the past 20 years to “successfully produce good sales and

said that his biggest rivals were people like Solly
Lew, the former chairman and still a major
shareholder, and “people with lots of money but no expertise.”

didn’t single anyone out, but he would be referring to venture capital groups.
Harvey said that if they were successful, they would have to rely on existing
Myer management or get new management in who wouldn’t know what Myer’s problems
were. He said
David Jones couldn’t buy Myer because it would have to take all the business
“upmarket” and that’s only part of the retail

also said Harvey Norman wouldn’t change the way Myer did
business much. He
pointed to Harvey Norman’s expansion within Australia and outside the country. It has
started Domayne, has the Joyce Mayne stores, and has control of the Rebel sports goods
chain. Outside Australia it
has stores in New Zealand,
Slovenia and will add nine new stores
to the existing three in Ireland over the next

Trioli didn’t push Harvey on how Myer would be
operated; all the company’s Australian stores are
franchises. The
company itself operates Rebel inside Australia and the international
stores for itself and books the sales and profits directly.

Australia it takes its profits in the
form of franchise fees, rent, advertising and marketing
levies. This
limits the downside for Harvey Norman but has not allowed the company to tackle
a recent slowdown in sales and profits from within Australia.