The Weekly Advertiser

Josh back home with Harvey

NEW BEGINNING: Former Harvey Norman Ararat proprietor Ian Myer, left, congratulates new proprietor Josh Bywater.

NEW BEGINNING: Former Harvey Norman Ararat proprietor Ian Myer, left, congratulates new proprietor Josh Bywater.

To say Harvey Norman Ararat’s new proprietor Josh Bywater, 27, has been busy would be an understatement.
Mr Bywater, who seized a business opportunity earlier this year to return to his teenage home, has been feverishly overhauling the store and its product range.
He said he officially took over in June and was now fine-tuning what the store offered, based on a strong understanding of what Ararat district people were asking for and demanding.
“We’ve assessed the range across all departments,” he said.
“We’ve completely revamped our computer area with a new range, are redoing our furniture layout and basically overhauling our cooking product range. It’s all about getting the products right for what customers need.
“As someone who has a strong affinity with Ararat I feel I know what people want and I’m confident people will quickly gain an understanding that we’re willing to help them meet their needs.”
Mr Bywater, who spent most of his teenage years with his family in Ararat, has spent almost a decade in the retail industry.
After starting at Retravision Ararat with Bob and Rosi Sanders in 2009, he ultimately found himself as audio-vision manager at Harvey Norman at Chadstone and Ballarat.
He said the Sanders had initially given him a job so he could have more consistent hours than were on offer at McDonald’s in Ararat at the time, which also allowed him to play football for Moyston-Willaura.
“One thing led to another and as a country boy who far from enjoyed big-city life, when the opportunity to come home arose I grabbed it with both hands,” he said.
“What I love about the Ararat store is the regulars we get coming back for our service. We’ve had people come in with chocolates, cakes, relishes, lamingtons and so on. This isn’t necessary, but it is definitely appreciated and certainly puts a smile on our faces, especially if we’re having a tough day.”
Mr Bywater said he was determined to ensure Harvey Norman in Ararat shored up a strong position as a shopping destination.
“We have a lot of people coming in and we want to keep it that way,” he said.
“We want to be in a position where we can eliminate a need for people to travel to find the products they need or want.
“I’ve spent an initial period of identifying what’s needed for the greater Ararat community and now we’re fine-tuning the various ranges, everything from projector screens to lamps.
“We’re moving in a lot of exciting and innovative technology product – something that customers will really warm to and appreciate when it comes to range and quality.”
Harvey Norman in Ararat has a staff of 11, with a combined experience in the industry of about 50 years.
“There isn’t much we haven’t already seen. However, we are still eager to learn and improve,” Mr Bywater said.
“I want this store to be known for having the right products at the right price with customer service second to none.”
Mr Bywater has already rekindled his relationship with Moyston-Willaura Pumas and after playing a couple of games this season, joked that another key project was improving his fitness.

The entire August 8, 2018 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!

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Posted on Aug 8 2018

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