It’s clear this volatile retail state is hurting those involved as one of Australia’s largest retailer has been forced to close some of its stores.

Harvey Norman said its 16 of the 25 Clive Peeters and Rick Hart brand formats will be converted to Harvey Norman complexes, two will be converted to Joyce Mayne complexes, four Clive Peeters stores will be closed and three Rick Hart stores will be closed.

This announcement follows the company’s global sales results from the franchised “Harvey Norman” complexes, commercial divisions and other sales outlets in Australia, New Zealand, Slovenia, Ireland and Northern Ireland (excluding Singapore), which totalled $6.18 billion for the year ended 30 June 2011.

When compared to global sales for the year ended 30 June 2010, the increase was 1.7 per cent. Like for like sales for the year ended 30 June 2011 when compared to the year ended 30 June 2010, decreased by 3.6 per cent.

According to the company, global sales have been negatively affected by a 3.8 per cent deterioration in the NZ$, a 12.3 per cent deterioration in the Euro and a 10.0 deterioration in the UK Pound.

The company said that based on the Australian franchisee sales it indicated that its furniture and bedding franchisees continue to growth and expect its brands to outperform the market in the 2012 financial year.

“Electrical franchisees are operating in an extremely challenging environment accentuated by the strength of the Australian dollar. Price deflation in the television category has continued and has resulted in reduced revenues, however transactions continue to grow,” Harvey Norman said.

“The franchisees’ continued focus on white goods, cooking, home appliances and floor care has resulted in growth in these categories. Deflation will continue to dampen revenue growth in the coming year.

“Computer franchisee sales continue to be affected by a cautious consumer and intense competition, however Tablets, Smart Phones, Ultrabooks, All in One Computers and new generation DSLR cameras will offer positive opportunities for growth in the year ahead.”