Australian retail bigwig Gerry Harvey has launched his own direct import videogame website which will offer GST-free sales of overseas purchases.
The site will sell games for less than what is charged in his Harvey Norman stores, and is Harvey’s way of finally conceding that he is no longer able to compete with overseas retail sites.
“If people want to buy games in stores they can but they will be paying much higher prices,” Harvey said. “We’re not doing this with a great deal of joy. We’ve been able to do this for a long time and we’ve held off and held off but you get to a stage where you just can’t hold off any more.”
He explained that the company had been considering the online store for around a year, after the Australian Productivity Commission announced it would take another six months to investigate adding GST to overseas purchases.
Harvey said the firm is also considering importing other goods in future and will make an announcement regarding the matter “soon.”
“You either have people like Gerry do it here and employ people in Australia or you just have people from overseas who do it and create no jobs in this country,” said Australian Retailers Association’s executive director Russell Zimmerman regarding the matter.
JB Hi-Fi chief executive Terry Smart said his firm will respond to Harvey’s store in kind, and plans to “move very quickly” on launching its own online gaming imports website.
Harvey Norman Direct is currently selling Modern Warfare 3 on Xbox 360 $35 cheaper than the online store owned by EB Games. HND is also selling Super Mario Galaxy 2 for $52 compared to EB Games’ $85 price point.
A $3.95 shipping fee will be charged for purchases made on the new site and all orders under $1000 will be free of the goods and services tax.
Via The Daily Telegraph.