Harvey Norman chairman Gerry Harvey (centre) chats with computer proprietor Mitchell Walker and electrical proprietor Jason Sawkins at the retailer’s new Auburn superstore.
ANYONE heading into Harvey Norman's expanded and revamped superstore at Auburn, should probably make sure they wear comfortable shoes.
Chairman Gerry Harvey makes no apologies for the size of the store which will cover more than 174,000 square metres of shop floor.
Enthusiastically spruiking the advantages of having a diverse range of manufacturers under the same roof, he told the Review that Auburn already has 55,000 square metres dedicated to electrical goods. A further rollout of furniture and bedding is also set to be added by mid next year.
Based on successful models already rolled out in Singapore - where sales doubled - as well as in Ireland and Slovenia which have also seen sales jump, Mr Harvey says the Auburn store will be "the best one of the lot".
"The displays we've got here are far superior to anywhere else in Australia," he said.
"When people come into the shop we are trying to give them an experience. We have lots of manufacturers on stands on weekends talking about their products.
"When you come into this store of ours you will see a lot of products you've never seen before.
"It might be a bit revelation.
"This is the best you've been into, no question."
Asked if having a physical presence was still relevant in the internet age, he said that while it was clear that online shopping is growing quite strongly, a lot of people still go into stores after researching online.
He added that very few people bought "fridges, TVs and lounges online".
"They just don't do it," he said.
"At the end of the day there is only one test, and that's how many did you sell."
Plenty of in-store demonstrations and events are planned including a live cooking demonstration with Mark Best this Saturday and Sunday (October 14 and 15), from 11am to 3pm, a Kenwood Baking Demonstration from 11am to 4pm.
Daniella Boutros from Buttercreme Lane, will also do a cooking demonstration on Sunday, October 15, from 1pm to 2pm, and V8 Supercar driver Simona DeSilvestro will make an in-store appearance from 2pm to 4pm.