Retail chains may be growth drivers for PCs

Retail chains may be growth drivers for PCs

Author | Source: Business Line | Monday, Feb 19,2007 7:40 AM

Retail chains may be growth drivers for PCs

PC vendors tying up with large format stores to push their products

Bright prospects

Big Bazaar, eZone, HyperCity are retailing PC and notebook brands like HP and Acer.

The unfolding retail saga has opened up an additional sales channel for the personal computer vendors, who expect a higher portion of their sales to come from the organised retail chains going forward.

PC vendors are busy tying up with retail chains to push their products. Large format stores like Big Bazaar, eZone, HyperCity and gadget stores like the Tata-promoted Croma have already been retailing PC and notebook brands like HP, Acer among others.

"The large format retail chains have emerged as an additional sales channel for us to reach customers," said Ms Shuchi Sarkar, Head Marketing, Personal Systems Group, HP India. However, HP India has not been seriously tracking the sales through such retail chains, Ms Sarkar said, adding that it was too early to comment on the potential.

`Huge potential'

Currently, for Acer, sales through organised retail chains account for a fraction of its overall India sales, said Mr S. Rajendran, GM Sales and Marketing, Mobility Display Products Group, Acer India.

"But, there's a huge potential and we expect increased sales from these retail chains in the coming years. Probably in next few years, we may see up to 10 per cent of our sales coming from such retail chains," Mr Rajendran said. Acer, which already has tie-ups with eZone and Croma, is looking for such partnerships with more retail chains, he said.

Traditionally, PC vendors have been dependent on resellers and the partner network to push their products. However, in the recent years the concept of exclusive brand stores such as Lenovo's ThinkWorld or Acer's Acer Mall, which are largely operated by partners, has gained momentum.

"Retail has definitely been a growth driver for us. Currently, we see over 60 per cent of Lenovo's sales come from our exclusive and multi-brand stores in the transaction space," said Mr Anil Philip, Director of Transaction Business, Lenovo India.

Lenovo has a strong presence in the retail space in China with approximately 5,000 outlets. "We are translating our Chinese experience into our retail initiatives here in India to reach our consumers across all locations," Mr Philip said.

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