Australians on social media are calling for a boycott on the nation's biggest advertiser Harvey Norman.
Across Twitter, #boycottharveynorman has been trending as outrage at Harvey Norman and its owner Gerry Harvey for admitting to capitalising on the pandemic.
The retailer is facing backlash after the billionaire owner described the coronavirus outbreak as an "opportunity" during an interview on Nine's 60 Minutes.
Billionaire retailer Gerry Harvey reckons we should all ‘lighten up’ and not let coronavirus dictate our lives. For a section of the population, “she’ll be right” is the default position, the question is whether that mentality puts ourselves and others at greater risk. #60Mins pic.twitter.com/Q6zApNN934— 60 Minutes Australia (@60Mins) March 22, 2020
Harvey says it is not like the Spanish Flu which killed 15 million people and that he isn't worried about the virus, despite being 80 years old.
He has come under fire in particular for "bragging" about the opportunity Harvey Norman has had to increase sales as panic buying continues.
“Our sales are up in Harvey Norman in Australia by 9% on last year. Our sales in freezers are up 300%. And what about air purifiers? Up 100%," he said during the interview.
Many across Twitter are vowing to never purchase anything from Harvey Norman again.
I’ve never sworn on Twitter before but fuck me dead if this isn’t the most brain-dead and blood-boiling thing I’ve ever read. Honestly makes me feel guilty and ashamed to have ever shopped in Harvey Norman #boycottharveynorman https://t.co/2g5rnYNLMw— Sam Clayton (@samclayton58) March 22, 2020
GERRY HARVEY: the face of evil, greed, ignorance & utter lack of empathy: aka the classic Lib donor/supporter, seen here smugly boasting about great sales (due to panic buying) & how for him, it’s an “opportunity.”— Kiera (@KieraGorden) March 22, 2020
Yep. #BoycottHarveyNorman #AusPolpic.twitter.com/kQJDlAGpFa
Harvey Norman is Australia's number one advertiser, spending an estimated $165.4 million in 2019.
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