#BoycottHarveyNorman is trending on social media after the company reported that profits during Q1 of the 2021 financial year skyrocketed by a whopping 160.1%, while one of their companies called for volunteers to work for free.
The huge profits, despite multiple stores receiving the JobKeeper payments, were announced ahead of Wednesday’s AGM.
But on the same day that Harvey Norman boasted about its skyrocketing profits amid the coronavirus pandemic, The School Locker (which is owned by Harvey Norman, in partnership with a number of ex-Harvey Norman executives) came under fire for asking for volunteer sales associates to help out during the back-to-school period.
The School Locker situation and the huge sales increase amid the pandemic are just the tip of the iceberg for what has already been a bit of a rough time for the company’s image, coming just months after founder Gerry Harvey downplayed the coronavirus pandemic and called it a business “opportunity” in a trainwreck 60 Minutes interview.
Billionaire retailer Gerry Harvey reckons we should all ‘lighten up’ and not let coronavirus dictate our lives. For a section of the population, “she’ll be right” is the default position, the question is whether that mentality puts ourselves and others at greater risk. #60Mins pic.twitter.com/Q6zApNN934
— 60 Minutes Australia (@60Mins) March 22, 2020
Harvey, who is notoriously outspoken, was already on thin ice with many customers, with countless scandals in the past including a scathing attack on homeless people, accusations of slaughtering failed racehorses and that time he claimed Australia should be run by a dictator. But this year’s coronavirus scandal, and the recent The School Locker ordeal has seemingly been enough for former customers to pull the plug on their spending with the company.
To put it simply, it may have been a good year for Harvey Norman’s profits, but not so much for its image in society.
Naturally, people flocked to social media using the hashtag #boycottharveynorman to share their frustrations with the company, and the founder himself.
Always happy to support #boycottharveynorman – Harvey is a terrible human being
— Angela G (@ange475) November 25, 2020
Does Gerry Harvey ever have a rest from being one of the biggest C*NTS in Australia? https://t.co/XlBH8FqBD6
— Dave ????️???????????? (@DaveJ1738) November 25, 2020
— ????Sassy Leo???? (@Loud_Lass) November 25, 2020
billionaire Gerry Harvey brags about profiting during COVID, sucks up govt welfare, lays off workers, wont hire older people, asks for donations & volunteers, despises the homeless, invests in horse racing… #BoycottHarveyNorman now and ALWAYS
— Germane Queer ???? (@GermaneQueer) November 25, 2020
Meanwhile, countless social media users vocalised how they’ve already been boycotting the company for years.
I stopped shopping at Harvey Norman years ago and people are still going there and still surprised on how much of a shitbag Gerry is. #boycottharveynorman
— Matty M. (@Valkian24) November 25, 2020
I've been boycotting this arsehole for years, ever since I saw their staff harass and elderly customer into buying something they didn't need #BoycottHarveyNorman
— Dan (@jedidaniel) November 25, 2020
#boycottharveynorman I'm unable to begin this boycott now due to the fact that I started years ago
— oh for fox sake ????????♀️????????♀️???? (@sharnilarni) November 25, 2020
— Marty (@villagerr9) November 25, 2020
Remember to Always… #BoycottHarveyNorman
— Gus Franklin ???? (@guscfranklin) November 25, 2020
This is the second time this year that #BoycottHarveyNorman has trended online, but considering its sales have literally skyrocketed this year, it appears that the boycotts aren’t doing much to hurt the company’s sales.