By Claire Reilly

Harvey Norman’s omni-channel retail strategy has come full circle, with the retailer promoting a new series of Big Buys bricks and mortar retail stores, branching off from its discounted online sales site, Harvey Norman Big Buys.

The Big Buys website originally launched as a daily deals sale site, offering consumers everything from discounted cookware, children’s toys and pet food, down to more bizarre products such as domestic chicken coops.

The site also offered a special timed deal that consumers could take advantage of within a given time frame, and has an email newsletter service that promotes a particular “Big Deal” to consumers that subscribe.

Now, the online-only retail model has expanded into the real world, with Big Buys store locations opening in Auburn in New South Wales, Loganholme and Maroochydore in Queensland, and Springvale, Victoria. There are also plans to open stores in Enfield, South Australia, and Cambridge Park, Tasmania.

Furthermore, in line with Harvey Norman’s significant marketing spend (which has traditionally focused on broadcast and print media), the retailer has begun advertising its Big Buys bricks and mortar concept, with a TVC promoting the Auburn site.

Big Buys has largely avoided cannibalising the traditional Harvey Norman stable of products, which includes electrical, computers, appliances and furniture, and the website has been complementary to Harveys’ other online offerings (including its transactional Harvey Norman Online website and its Direct Import gaming and DVD site).

However, the move to bring a very different bricks and mortar product into the mainstream shopping landscape could play out in a number of ways for the retailer, as consumers see the Harvey Norman name that they now on the shingle outside the store, but a very different set of products inside.