In response to your editorial "Fighting Back" (ARN 14th Feb), I am amazed at your first paragraph "Three Cheers for Harvey Norman". What the hell were you thinking?
Obviously, you have never had experience as a distributor/product manager of selling into Harvey Norman or buying software/hardware from them.
Well, I have, and I can tell you that the statement made by Tony Gattari of Harvey Norman is not only short-sighted but is self inflected. They have brought this on themselves.
We have known for some time that Dell and Gateway are already going direct, HP is subtly selling direct via other Web sites, and insiders from Compaq have informed me that they are going direct.
Why would any distributor want to put their product into a Harvey Norman store where you have to;1) agree to a Sale or Return condition,2) have one of your sales team in everyone of their stores at least once a week.
3) let Gerry take a percentage (confidential) that I consider simply unworkable.
I certainly don't!
Try walking into one of their stores and getting help from their staff who have very little knowledge. Try calling them after you've bought a system from them and when you have a problem because the system is not working properly and see what response you get.
Everybody else knows it, why don't you?
We have just launched a retail chain called 4Ware, which will be 60 to 100 x stores as of May and a total of 350 stores within 18 months.
We will be a chain dedicated to customer service, customer support, and locally made award winning PCs - really great product at good pricing, considering the quality of the systems.
It was because of knowledge-lacking, poor-serviced, no-support computer outlets like Harvey Norman that thisconcept has been welcomed by everyone that we have talked to.
PSI - Command