“Sales Are Up”: Harvey Norman Boss Slammed For Calling Coronavirus An “Opportunity”
"I’ve got to 80 years of age, I’ve had a wonderful life, and I think to myself I’m just going to keep going as if nothing has happened."
Australian billionaire Gerry Harvey is being slammed for suggesting the coronavirus pandemic is just another “opportunity” to make more money.
The chairman of Harvey Norman Holdings, which owns Harvey Norman and Joyce Mayne, said his stores were doing “really good business” as people rushed out to panic buy.
“Our sales are up in Harvey Norman in Australia by nine per cent on last year. Our sales in freezers are up 300 percent. And what about air purifiers? Up 100 percent,” he told Nine’s 60 Minutes last night.
“The world’s changed, there’s a new challenge out there you know, this is an opportunity.”
As thousands of workers face losing their jobs as non-essential services close, people aren’t impressed at the billionaire’s priorities.
I note CEO's of Woolies, Coles,Aldi and many other decent companies have refused to gloat about their windfall during this crisis. Nor have they dismissed the virus as the Govt tries to save lives. Boycott Harvey Norman after Gerry Harvey's disgusting comments @slpng_giants_oz
— Janine Perrett (@PerrettReport) March 22, 2020
Harvey was also criticised for downplaying the seriousness of the virus, which has now infected more than 1,300 in Australia and more than 335,000 people worldwide.
“Why are we so scared, it’s pretty much nothing to get scared of,” he said. “It’s not the Spanish Flu that killed 15 million people just after the First World War … I’m 80, I should be really scared. Guess what? I’m not really scared.”
“I’ve got to be positive. I’ve got to 80 years of age, I’ve had a wonderful life, and I think to myself I’m just going to keep going as if nothing has happened.”
It's time to put Gerry Harvey in extreme quarantine. Then, if time permits, we should do something about this coronavirus thing
— henno (@jrhennessy) March 22, 2020
I was going to say all the billionaires have been very quiet, in case they be asked to do something in the national interest, but then Gerry Harvey opened his mouth to show they really have nothing to offer. #AUSPOL
— Eddy Jokovich (@EddyJokovich) March 22, 2020
Gloating over people’s genuine fear
— Farmer has 14 children 😷🐑🧙🏻♂️🏳️🌈🇦🇺🐶 (@sheep_witchy) March 22, 2020
The Australian government announced the closure of all non-essential services over the weekend, but that doesn’t include shopping centres.