THE NEWS WRAP: Gerry Harvey warns retailers they will have the “hardest Christmas in their lives”

Retail kingpin Gerry Harvey has warned that Australian stores will have the “hardest Christmas in their lives” due to sluggish consumer confidence.


Harvey, chairman of the Harvey Norman chain, says that people were scared to spend money, even though they should be “happy as pigs in sh**” due to low unemployment and the resources boom.


“I don’t think the outlook will improve”, he says. “Things are just not that good. I see unemployment going up, small businesses going under, manufacturing under huge duress and tourism hit very badly.”


Masters hits out at suppliers


New hardware chain Masters has claimed that some suppliers are refusing to give it stock due to their relationship with arch rival Bunnings.

Masters, a joint venture between Woolworths and US retailer Lowe’s, will open its first store in Melbourne tomorrow, with 18 more to follow suit.


However, the business’ chief executive Don Stallings claimed that some manufacturers were refusing to deal with it due to their relationship with Bunnings, saying: “There were some vendors that sell to some of our competitors, not naming any names, that did not sell to us.”


Melbourne named world’s best city


Melbourne has toppled Canada’s Vancouver as the world’s most liveable city, according to the annual Global Liveability Survey.


Vancouver has held top spot since 2002, but has now slipped to third place, behind Vienna.


Melbourne was placed first due to high scores in each of the five categories – stability, healthcare, culture and environment, education and infrastructure. Sydney came sixth, with Perth in eighth and Adelaide ninth.




The Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped 20.70 points, or 0.2%, to 11,559.95. The Australian dollar was up to 106.49 US cents


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