Harvey Norman

PHOTO: Harvey Norman 

After refusing to pay rent on some stores during the lockdown, homeware giant Harvey Norman has told landlords it will pay half of one month’s rent as “an act of good faith”.

The Australian retailer has been operating as an essential service after the Government clarified its rules around essential goods, and has received $12.7 million for 1850 staff through the wage subsidy scheme.

After the lockdown was announced on March 25, Harvey Norman NZ head of property Anthony Dainty told landlords around the country it would not pay rent while its stores were closed.

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In a letter seen by Stuff, Dainty told landlords that “we look forward to your agreement to the above by reply confirmation email. Should we not receive a response within the next 24 hours, we will assume your acceptance of the contents of this letter”.

But on Thursday, Dainty said Harvey Norman would pay the equivalent of 50 per cent of one month’s rent to start negotiations.