Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Boycott Harvey Nichols

Harvey Nichols ("Harvey Nicks"), founded in 1813, is an expensive department store chain. Its original store is in London. In the United Kingdom, Harvey Nichols has stores in London, Leeds, Edinburgh, Birmingham, Manchester and Bristol. It also has a store in Al-Faysaliyah Tower in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, a store at Dundrum Town Centre, Dublin in Ireland and one in Central, Hong Kong. It opened a store in Istanbul's Kanyon Shopping Mall on October 13, 2006. In February 2006, it opened a store in Dubai, designed by architecture firm Callison in the Mall of the Emirates. In addition they have a store in the Grand Indonesia in Jakarta which opened in October 2008 to serve their South East Asian based customers. The London flagship store is located in Knightsbridge.

In October 1991 the Harvey Nichols group was acquired from the Burton Group by Dickson Concepts, an international retailer and distributor of branded luxury goods based in Hong Kong and listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.

In April 1996, Harvey Nichols obtained a full listing on the London Stock Exchange and for the subsequent period of almost 7 years stayed as a listed company.

February 2003 saw the return of Harvey Nichols to private ownership and Harvey Nichols Group Limited is now owned by the Hong Kong-based businessman Dr. Dickson Poon, the ex-husband of Michelle Yeoh, whose retail businesses extend to North America, Europe, Japan, China and South East Asia. Poon is the executive chairman of his Hong Kong listed vehicle Dickson Concepts (DCIL), which owns companies including Harvey Nichols and S. T. Dupont. Through trusts, he controls 40.13% of the voting capital of DCIL as at 31 March 2008.

Joseph Wan - Harvey NicholsJoseph Wan is a Chartered Accountant and Chartered Arbitrator. He became Chief Executive of Harvey Nichols in August 1992, having previously been the group finance director of Dickson Concepts for five years. Prior to that he spent nine years working for KPMG in Hong Kong and London. He is also a Fellow of the Institute of Directors and The Royal Society of Arts. He is currently the non-executive chairman of S.T. Dupont SA, which is listed on the Paris Bourse, a fellow subsidiary of Harvey Nichols.

During the credit crunch he famously changed the Harvey Nichols advertising strapline to 'and now with shorter queues' trying to make fun of the fact fewer people had disposable income.

In 2008 Wan spoke out against UK government proposals to crack down on non-doms. He told The Sunday Times that if the crackdown on wealthy immigrants went much further he would flee the UK when he retires at 60. “Depending on how much further things go – reluctantly I would leave on retirement,” he said.

Wan, then 53, said several of his friends were already making preparations to leave. Hong Kong-born Wan admits he is a non-dom himself, but claimed he pays more than £100,000 a year in British taxes. He said that wealthy overseas people created jobs and spent money in Britain, an important stimulant to the economy.

Wan’s comments came as a survey by Grant Thornton, the accountant, found 42% of South Asian high-net-worth individuals considered as non-doms were preparing to leave the UK.

Wan continues to reside in the UK.

On 18th October Joseph Wan signed an open letter calling on the Chancellor to continue the coalition government's plans to reduce the public finance deficit in one term, plans which included swingeing cuts on the poorest members of society and which risk pushing this country into a double-dip recession, the likes of which has not been seen since the last time the tories took power and tanked the economy in the early 80's.

For this reason Joseph is considered a fully signed up member of the Big Business Society and we urge people to boycott Harvey Nichols.

Never having shopped there I do not know a suitable alternative, so please suggest some if you post comments.


  1. I will admit I love Harvey Nicks, mainly their food department and I've already gone and done mu Christmas shopping there. Opps. But in future the alternatives are Selfridges, Libery and Fortnums for all foodie things. I always feel sorry for the workers when this happens but I told someone in Boots yesterday when I went in there to use up mu Boots cards point before I began my boycott of them, and she seemed horrified. Worst thing is I had just missed the CEO by 30 mins so I could have told him to his face.

  2. Thanks for alternatives. Much appreciated. I'm afraid shops like Harvey Nichols have never been anyway near my budget.

    Shame you missed the Boots CEO, it's important such people know why their sales are falling.

    Thanks for your support.

  3. Nice bit of investigation here, thank you.

    After the Big Boycott, maybe we should tackle supposed British companies successfully avoiding paying UK tax, after all, if they paid their dues we would not be faced with such huge cuts.