Harvey Norman skids as other supermarkets and department stores top the trust table

Trusted retailers benefit from Australia's economic growth but living with covid could be different, according to Roy Morgan CEO

Harvey Norman has been the biggest loser in the latest Roy Morgan trust survey, skidding as other retailers benefited from record GDP 9.6 per cent growth for the year and maintained their trusted positions.  

The latest quarterly figures show Australia's four most trusted brands - Woolworths, Coles, Bunnings and ALDI - held tightly to their first to fourth rankings. The most upwardly mobile retailers on trust ladder during the June quarter included Kmart, which is now in the top five, and Myer and Big W, which both entered the top 10 most trusted brands. Target also jumped seven rungs of the trust ladder to land just outside the top 10. 

On the other side of the coin, in the least trusted ranks, Harvey Norman moved into Roy Morgan’s list of Australia’s top 20 most distrusted brands, joining Amazon, Crown Resorts, Google and Twitter.

Roy Morgan CEO, Michele Levine, put this down to the public’s awareness of Harvey Norman having benefited from $22 million in JobKeeper wage subsidies despite the retailer’s record pre-tax profit of $1.18 billion for the year - an increase of $521m from the previous year.

“It appears pressure on the company has had an impact though, with the company just this week deciding to repay $6 million of JobKeeper wage subsidies,” Levine said. “But will this concession prove too little too late for Harvey Norman to rebuild the trust they have lost during this period?” 

Read more: Most-trusted brands during Covid 19 lockdown revealed

Levine saw government reactions to the pandemic working in most retailers’ favour in the past. However, the latest Sydney and Melbourne lockdowns, coupled with the shift towards Australia having to ‘live with Covid’, will challenge retailers from now on, she said. 

“Australians prevented from travelling and enjoying live entertainment redirected their spending to the retail industry,” said Levine. “The latest lockdowns in NSW, Victoria and the ACT are set to end when vaccination rates in these states reach targets of 70 per cent and then 80 per cent of the adult population fully vaccinated. This is a big difference from prior lockdowns as Australians will be ‘living with COVID’ for the first time when these lockdowns end.  

“This new ‘COVID-normal’ will provide a challenging environment for retailers that rely heavily on personal interactions between staff and customers. The big question facing retailers is how they manage the questions of ‘vaccination mandates’ for staff and ‘vaccination passports’ for customers without destroying the trust they’ve built up over the past year."

Don’t miss out on the wealth of insight and content provided by CMO A/NZ and sign up to our weekly CMO Digest newsletters and information services here. 

You can also follow CMO on Twitter: @CMOAustralia, take part in the CMO conversation on LinkedIn: CMO ANZ, follow our regular updates via CMO Australia's Linkedin company page


Join the newsletter!


Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Latest Videos

More Videos

More Brand Posts



CMO's top 10 martech stories for the week - 9 June

Read more

Great e-commerce article!

Vadim Frost

CMO’s State of CX Leadership 2022 report finds the CX striving to align to business outcomes

Read more

Are you searching something related to Lottery and Lottery App then Agnito Technologies can be a help for you Agnito comes out as a true ...


The Lottery Office CEO details journey into next-gen cross-channel campaign orchestration

Read more

Thorough testing and quality assurance are required for a bug-free Lottery Platform. I'm looking forward to dependability.

Ella Hall

The Lottery Office CEO details journey into next-gen cross-channel campaign orchestration

Read more

Great Sharing thoughts.It is really helps to define marketing strategies. After all good digital marketing plan leads to brand awareness...

Paul F

Driving digital marketing effectiveness

Read more

Blog Posts

Marketing prowess versus the enigma of the metaverse

Flash back to the classic film, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. Television-obsessed Mike insists on becoming the first person to be ‘sent by Wonkavision’, dematerialising on one end, pixel by pixel, and materialising in another space. His cinematic dreams are realised thanks to rash decisions as he is shrunken down to fit the digital universe, followed by a trip to the taffy puller to return to normal size.

Liz Miller

VP, Constellation Research

Why Excellent Leadership Begins with Vertical Growth

Why is it there is no shortage of leadership development materials, yet outstanding leadership is so rare? Despite having access to so many leadership principles, tools, systems and processes, why is it so hard to develop and improve as a leader?

Michael Bunting

Author, leadership expert

More than money talks in sports sponsorship

As a nation united by sport, brands are beginning to learn money alone won’t talk without aligned values and action. If recent events with major leagues and their players have shown us anything, it’s the next generation of athletes are standing by what they believe in – and they won’t let their values be superseded by money.

Simone Waugh

Managing Director, Publicis Queensland

Sign in