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Harvey Norman Case Study
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  • Country: Australia

Harvey Norman is a well-known chain of retailers in Australia. The company offers services in electronics, furniture and bedding. The company has gained an immense reputation for its premium products. 

Today, it stands as one of the biggest and most prosperous stores. It was established by Ian Norman and Gerry Harvey in 1982. It has spread to numerous countries including New Zealand, Ireland, Northern Ireland, Slovenia, Croatia, Malaysia, and Singapore. 

The secret of Norman's success is in its business operations. We will delve into details to learn about its various strategies. 

We will also explore the multiple difficulties it faced and how it overcame them. The case study covers how Norman made the best out of all cases. Management students should continue to learn about the topic in detail. 

Business Structure

Harvey Norman uses a distinctive business strategy to carry out its routine business. It combines franchise and corporate store structures. This hybrid model has contributed widely to Its success. It also helps to boost scalability and flexibility. Hence it accelerates its operations. 

Franchise System

The franchise system involves business with independent businessmen. Under this, the individuals are allowed to run Harvey Norman's brand. This comes with a number of advantages:

  • Motivated Ownership: Franchisees are carried to provide better customer service. It also increases operational efficiency and profits. The individuals are committed to performing better as they also have a stake in the success of businesses.

  • Local Adaptation: franchisees can offer a unique shopping experience. They are more familiar with the local requirements and adopt measures to fulfil them. They customise their services accordingly which fit the needs of the local markets. 

  • Shared Risk: It also acts as a cushion. It divides the financial risk between the franchisee and the franchisor. Hence the overall risk for the company is reduced. 

Corporate Stores

Harvey Norman also runs corporate stores in addition to franchises. It has stores, particularly in areas where it requires total control. These stores provide more control over operations and inventory. They provide a pleasant shopping experience. This helps to maintain brand consistency.

Competitive Strategy

Harvey Norman offers an extensive range of products. It has a strong brand presence and offers excellent customer service. Its competitive strategy has led to its strategic expansion. Let's study some of its main components:

Brand Awareness

Harvey Norman adopted aggressive marketing and advertising initiatives. These initiatives have helped it to develop a strong brand presence. Today, The brand is known for its extensive product selection and affordable prices. It provides top-notch customer support which builds stronger relationships. A good brand image has helped it to keep and draw more customers.  

Product Selection

The company sells a wide variety of goods across various categories. It sells furniture, bedding, home appliances, and electronics. Customers tend to stick around when they are offered more options. This strategy has expanded the company's market reach.

Customer Support

Harvey Norman ensures that its customer services remain unbeatable. It is a fundamental element of its strategy. The company sponsors employee training initiatives. This guarantees a high level of customer satisfaction. Good customer service fosters repeat business and consumer loyalty.

Strategic Expansion

Harvey Norman keeps growing its presence in the country and around the world. It has been focused on opening more stores and franchises for better reach. Its strategic acquisition has helped it to maintain its growth rate. It has aggressively launched additional stores in fast-growing markets. Southeast Asia and New Zealand have proven to be particularly outstanding examples of its success. 


The company has faced a number of obstacles in its path. They have a direct impact on its performance. 

Market Competition

The retail industry is fiercely competitive. There are always challenges from new companies. There are international giants like  Amazon which post tough competition. It constantly has to compete with firms like JB Hi-Fi and The Good Guys. Harvey Norman needs to innovate constantly. It needs to adapt to the shifting requirements of the market to stay ahead.

E commerce Transition

The retail industry has changed significantly with the introduction of e-commerce. Harvey Norman has made progress, but it still has some major issues. It faces difficulty in linking its online and offline businesses. This has a negative impact on the online shopping experience. It's also lagging behind to create a digital footprint. All these points have negative impacts and hinder future growth. 

Economic Factors

Changes in economic policies also have a direct impact on a company's sales. Downtowns and fluctuations have an adverse impact. For instance, the COVID-19 epidemic saw a significant drop in stores. There were sales online but offline stores suffered considerable losses. Hence it is important to create a robust supply chain. There should be multiple revenue streams to divide the risk.

Environmental Sustainability

Consumers are becoming concerned about the environment. While purchasing they check whether the company follows sustainable practices. This places a more robust emphasis on sustainability. Harvey Norman must adopt more environmentally friendly methods. It should mould its strategies to satisfy customer demands and legal obligations.

Future prospects

Harvey Norman has to concentrate on a few key projects to guarantee its continuous growth. They are mentioned below:

Digital Transformation

Digital transformation is a must for growth in this tech-driven world. This entails improving the e-commerce platform. The company should utilise data analytics to make informed decisions. They can incorporate cutting-edge technology like artificial intelligence and machine learning. Technology offers a way to make the shopping experience more customised and more fun! 

Multichannel Approach

The approach should include both online and offline channels. As both centres attract customers, they both require a robust strategy.  This includes establishing unified customer support. The company can also focus on maintaining real-time inventory updates. It can adopt click-and-collect services to enhance quick shopping. 

Ecological Practices

A company has to comply with legal regulations to improve its brand image. Adopting sustainable business practices helps it to build a strong profile. This entails utilising eco-friendly products and services. There should also be an emphasis on recycling initiatives. The company should meet its carbon goals and work on lowering carbon footprints.

Global Growth

Growth prospects arise from expanding into existing markets. Harvey Norman can explore new markets, especially in Asia and Europe. They can shape their services as per the locals to offer customised services. It attracts more customers and helps with growth. 

Innovation in Product Supply

The focus should be on constantly developing the products. New and smart products attract a larger consumer base. The company can also broaden its product line. It can include energy-efficient appliances, smart home devices, and health and wellness items.


Harvey Norman has established itself as a leader in the retail sector. Its distinctive business strategy has assisted it to make a powerful brand presence. 

Despite its success, it still has a lot of challenges to overcome. Through a strategic emphasis on growth and expansion, it can bring better results. Adopting sustainable measures is the key to Harvey Norman's success amidst the dynamic retail environment.

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