Harvey Norman acquires Vox Group's scraps

Retail giant Harvey Norman has snapped up 22 of Brierley Investments' failing Vox electronics stores as part of an aggressive expansion in Australia and overseas.

Harvey Norman picked up the stores, including the stock in trade, for an undisclosed amount and is expected to use them to strengthen its own fledgling electronics division.

The Vox retail group, which operates 140 stores including Archie Martin in Western Australia, and Chandlers and Billy Guyatts in Victoria, is estimated to have lost the investment group about $200 million in its six years of ownership. Gerry Harvey's growing retail empire will now begin the uphill battle to turn them around.

The extra stores, eight in Western Australia, nine in Victoria and five in Queensland, will start trading under the Harvey Norman banner within the next eight weeks. This deal is second dipping for Harvey Norman who purchased seven Archie Martin-branded Vox stores in Western Australia in 1998 for $4 million.

Harvey Norman plans to add up to 55 stores in Australia and New Zealand inside the next three years, as well as branching out into Slovenia and Singapore.

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