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Are Harvey Norman Holdings Limited’s (ASX:HVN) offshore plans its saviour?

Shares in Harvey Norman Holdings Limited (ASX:HVN) slid lower off the back of a weak FY18 result last month and are back in the red today, down to $3.48.

But will offshore expansion be the key to paving Harvey Norman’s pathway to growth?

Retailers relying on discretionary spenders across Australia are always up against overall economic conditions, with JB Hi-Fi Limited (ASX: JBH) feeling the pinch just as keenly in the space.

But with plans to open 9 stores in Malaysia over FY19, Harvey Norman’s success in South East Asia could be the tonic this retail stalwart has been seeking.

Harvey Norman is actively exploring new international sites, with an expectation to open up 18 new company-operated Harvey Norman stores within the next two years – the company’s biggest spurt in organic growth in more than a decade.

If management can balance this expansion with the demands of its flagship store strategy the results could be pleasing.

But if you feel wary of banking on Harvey Norman, keep an eye on emerging retail sector players like Noni B Limited (ASX: NBL) and Specialty Fashion Group (ASX: SFH).

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Motley Fool contributor Carin Pickworth has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Scott Phillips.

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