Would You Buy New Gadgets During An Economic Crisis?

GadgetsPile.jpg AustralianIT reports that retail giant Harvey Norman has announced that it plans to release weekly sales data from its stores, in the hope that this will provide a demonstration of the state of the economy. This seems like an odd idea for a couple of reasons. For one thing, if we're all tightening our belts and worrying about whether our jobs will last, then splurging on a new gadget should probably be a low priority. Secondly, even if we do decide we can't live without that new PC, it would make more sense to shop around online than just hit a big-box retailer. So is store founder Gerry Harvey right when he says "there is no better indicator out there than Harvey Norman sales"? Share your thoughts in the comments.


    I went to Harvey Norman determined to buy an external hard drive with some credit card points I had saved. The range was so limited and so expensive (even some of the main brands weren't represented and there were nil 1 Terabyte drives offered). But I guess I am not, and most Lifehackers are not in the majority of purchasers.
    So Harvey is probably sorta right - and they sell so many things (really they are Department stores) that their sales will be a sorta guide.

    does the chairman of one of Australia's most successful retail businesses know what he's talking about. i'm pretty sure Gerry Harvey knows what he's talking about!

    Though you could have said the same about most global bank CEOs three months ago :-)

    To me, Harvey Norman has always been overpriced but here poses an interesting analogy.

    Maybe the majority of people can't afford the overpriced stuff at regular retail stores anymore... But if you want something, you just have to look a little harder to get a discount that keeps it cheap. Maybe Harvey Norman has been and gone as a useful benchmark like this.

    wrt world economic crisis, lets call it what it is. It's the reconcentration of financial power around the rich. In the states, people were buying and selling things they didn't own. Corporate and private greed is fueling a lot more than their next private jet trip.

    Gerry Harvey, global bank CEOs. i fail to see the similarity.

    And yet Harvey Norman have just opened their first Officeworks clone store OFIS in Melbourne. Perhaps Mr Harvey thinks that pencils, erasers and calculators will be in real demand as we all start writing off investments, superannuation, stocks, etc.

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