Tandy Electronics is set to plunge itself into the Internet appliance market when it rolls out a possible store-within-a-store deal with Microsoft next year.
Tandy Australia will pursue discussions with Microsoft to promote its concept, following a deal reached by Tandy's US affiliate RadioShack and Microsoft last week, and marketing director Robert Hayes has confirmed Internet appliances are likely to be among the products in the extended Microsoft line.
`We have had preliminary discussions with Microsoft and will be looking to further those discussions, but they are at an embryonic stage at present,' Hayes said.
`We were waiting for the US deal to be concluded last week. There will be no implementation until the second quarter of next year.'
Hayes said Tandy currently carries a number of products but not the entire range, and this deal would expand the current line.
`We currently stock a range of Microsoft products and Internet devices like modems,' Hayes said. `We don't carry Internet appliances like handheld devices, but will be basing the product line on the US line so these will probably be included. It depends on our discussions with Microsoft.'
Tandy is in the process of refurbishing its stores and launching a store-within-a-store design for its other business partners including Sony, Compaq, Panasonic, Kodak and Optus.
Tandy to ship online
SYDNEY - Tandy Electronics has recently revealed that it plans to have its entire inventory available online before the end of this financial year. The site in question, due to be launched in the second quarter of 2000, will be based on the site of its Canadian affiliate, RadioShack, which was launched in July this year.
Tandy Australia and Canada's RadioShack are both owned by Intertan, an independent international arm of the US-based Tandy Group which operates the RadioShack franchise throughout the US.
The US deal will see the 7000 RadioShack stores across the US establish the concept in an aim to promote Microsoft's range of Internet products for dial-up and broadband Internet access.
By David Smedley