Firm Focus with QT Better Business columnist Ashley Jones.
Firm Focus with QT Better Business columnist Ashley Jones. Sarah Harvey

Firm Focus: Harvey Norman Ipswich welcomes new franchisee

MENTION the name Harvey Norman and people have a good sense of what the business is about and probably have that familiar jingle playing in their head, testament to its impact.

Harvey Norman Ipswich has that "something special" about it too and that is the gem of the Harvey Norman business model and the culture.

Ipswich recently welcomed new franchisee John Edgerton, who has been in the city since March this year.

"Harvey Norman has a lot of opportunity around Australia and overseas and I have had 18 years experience with the company coming from a diverse background but I have a lot of experience in retail," he said.

The successful business partnership between Gerry Harvey and Ian Norman was launched in 1961 as Norman Ross but in 1982 it moved to Harvey Norman and it rapidly grew to the success story it is today.

It is a public company that functions as a franchisor and grants franchises to independent business operators.

"We are not a cookie cutter business. We have the distinct branding, but also the freedom to be responsive to our market," Mr. Edgerton said.

The Ipswich store does not currently have the full suite of products that are probably best attributed to superstores, but it does boast an impressive line up of electrical and computer and communication-based products.

The company is well-known for carrying electrical, computers and communications, small appliances, furniture, bedding and manchester, home improvements, lighting and carpet and flooring.

"We will be moving to this level of product range as we move into our new home in the earlier part of 2016. Gerry Harvey has bought the former Bunnings Warehouse site at Booval and will be undertaking the refurbishment to launch an exciting new store," he said.

"It makes sense to move into what has fast become the bulky goods spot in Ipswich. The Booval home will give a real expansion to a successful business. Harvey Norman is a market leader in computing and certainly across communications and entertainment."

READY TO GIVE ADVICE: Harvey Norman Ipswich franchisee John Edgerton.
READY TO GIVE ADVICE: Harvey Norman Ipswich franchisee John Edgerton. David Nielsen

The converging of technologies is driving a lot of sales at the Ipswich store as customers are keeping up with the latest trends.

"The mobile phone today is actually more powerful than a computer was say, about four years ago. You can watch video, listen to your favourite music, surf the net, Facebook, take photos and even make a phone call," he said.

The increased level of content distribution via online delivery through products like fetch, Netflix and the like, are popular and customers are exploring the range of products to choose from to access these services.

"Most people think that it is just the young who are getting into the technology but I am seeing the older generation coming to grips with it."

Parents will find a welcome helping hand working out what they need to get for their younger members of the family.

"We are up to speed with the education curriculum requirements so we can help, in fact I have three staff that are fully across this area. We are more than able to assist with the products in store," Mr Edgerton said.

Currently the other big area is fitness. "People want to track weight, motion, heart rate and lots more. It is really hot property right now from the young to the older people. It is on the wrist and such powerful technology."

"I have teamed up with the other franchisee, Ryan here in Ipswich and I am pleased to have made the move from Mackay. We are in a growth corridor and we are going well but I think over the next year we will really expand, it is an exciting time."

Harvey Norman is below Birch Carroll event cinemas in Ipswich City Square off the mall.

They have an impressive range of products and services.


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