Retail giant sees huge jump in sales, forces wait lists
SINCE the beginning of March shoppers have started panic-buying breadmakers and freezers as coronavirus fears continue to grow.
Harvey Norman stores across the nation have reported a huge increase in demand and, in some cases, are completely running out of stock.
Executive chair Gerry Harvey said they had completely sold out of a number of items due to the current health pandemic.
"We are seeing similar statistics on purchases of our products right across the country due to the coronavirus," Mr Harvey said.
"We have seen a 600 per cent increase in breadmakers and 300 per cent rise in freezers.
"We actually don't have any more of these two products left in the country.
"There has also been a 150 per cent increase in food savers to help preserve food," he said.
"Plus we have experienced a 137 per cent growth in side-by-side fridges and 91 per cent increase in bottom mount fridges."
In stores across Australia, Mr Harvey said there had also been a demand for cleaning related products.
"Air purifiers were up 100 per cent and the demand for laundry products, including steam washing machines, were up 97 per cent.
"Carpet cleaning products were also up 75 per cent.
"These are the types of products that kill most viruses and bacterias, so that's why people are buying them."
Mr Harvey was surprised to hear there was one confirmed case of coronavirus in the South Burnett. due to the regional location.
"The most interesting thing about country towns is that they are fairly isolated," he said.
"Most of the cases are going to happen in the bigger cities.
"Regardless of that, at Harvey Norman we are taking precautionary measures in all of our stories, just like everybody else.
"We have been watching the market day by day," Mr Harvey said.
"At the moment we can't predict anything moving forward so we just have to wait and see what happens."
Read more stories about the impact of the coronavirus in the South Burnett here.