An extended clip from the ground-breaking series, The Thread, exploring what connects different Aussie icons who broke away from the pack. Full episode on Gerry Harvey here: https://goo.gl/DHNVBQ
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Jack: Open mic here, what is your stance on online retailing?
Gerry: Well, online retail is over-hyped and it's unfair in terms of all the overseas retailers selling into Australia and not paying their duties and GST and all the rest and it will all stop. The pity is that it will go for 3, 4, 5 years before it stops. But the stop period is slowly coming. It might probably be in the next few months even. So the rest of the world doesn't do what we do. So if you go to the UK and you want to bring something in from overseas, you pay your 20% taxes, you pay your duties and I think even on smaller items, they have a surcharge as well sort of thing. We have a thousand dollars, and no one takes any notice of that. The thousand dollars becomes 2, 3, 4, 5 thousand because they send it in in parts, or they don't declare it or they get a bodgy invoice and all this sort of thing. So it's an absolute rort. And there's no point to it except that some people get some cheaper stuff and put a whole lot of other people out of work. So sooner or later governments wake up to it and that's what's happening now. So, that part of it, the overseas thing will start to drop, when that all happens. Then in Australia, online, that will start to grow. And so you will have this combination of online and bricks and mortar shops. So at the moment in Harvey Norman that online business is growing. We were doing 60 or 70 thousand dollars a day. In December it got up to 300,000 dollars a day but now it will drop back to maybe 100/150 thousand dollars a day and that will just keep on growing. So what percentage of our business will it be in 1 years, 2 years, 5 years, 10 years? Everyone's having a guess at that and they don't know. At the moment, if you took, instead of a Harvey Norman, maybe took a department store, it might be a bit better an example. A department store is 1 or less than 1 percent of turnover. Where can it get to? If it gets to 5 percent it will be high. But a whole heap of people will tell you that it will get to 10 or 20 percent, I don't believe that. I think it's got a ceiling on it. But I am not sure what it is. And if you take the department stores, there's only two really, David Jones and Myers, and if it gets to 5 percent, that'll be 1 in 20 sales done online. I am battling to see how it will get much more than that but I don't discount the fact that it could get to 10 percent, it could, but I don't ever see it getting any more. I just can see how it could get any more than that.
►About Gerry Harvey
Harvey is the undisputed retail king of Australia. He founded one of the most profitable businesses to list on the ASX, Harvey Norman, and has since ventured into other industries such as agriculture, horse racing, and mining. Interviewed at his privately owned horse auctions on the Gold Coast, the Magic Millions, Harvey is captivating. A deep thinker, he expresses the need for people to take risks early in their careers to break away.
►About The Thread
Two mates sit down with 10 iconic Australians to figure out how they broke away from the pack. Hugh and Jack seek out leaders of wide-ranging fields: adventure, sport, business, philanthropy, medicine, law and literature to uncover the common thread that binds them.
The interview subjects are household names famed for remarkable and well-told stories, but rarely have they been asked how they did it, how they define success and whether anyone can do what they've done.
Armed with meticulous research and uncomfortably simple questions, we elicit intriguing, inspiring and often unexpected insights from an eclectic bunch of trailblazers.
Check out all 10 full episodes here: https://goo.gl/uQDYfu