Finding a suitable replacement vendor for Compaq may not be as simple for retailer Harvey Norman as first thought.
The haggling between Acer Computer and the giant retailer is still continuing, according to Acer marketing director Charles Chung. But as soon as the vendor and retailer can reach a satisfactory retail price point, they will be set to roll out for the pre-Christmas sale period.
Chung said that Acer is keen to avoid any channel conflict with any supply arrangements with the omnipresent retail chain, and so is likely to release desktop and notebook models with a configuration unique to Harvey Norman.
And in a recent announcement from the retailer, they have come to an agreement to again stock Acer products, but it seems that "details" such as product specifications and price are yet to be hammered out.
But further recent developments may have thrown a spanner in the works. Last week, Harvey Norman's general manager of computers, John Slack-Smith, confirmed that the deal for desktop PCs would proceed as long as the Taiwan-based Acer does not have any supply and pricing problems as a result of the recent earthquake.
In a statement three weeks ago, Slack-Smith said: "I believe Acer will comfortably be a top 10 supplier for Harvey Norman."
If the negotiations and supply arrangements are com-pleted successfully, Chung said that he is still confident of making the ever-tightening Christmas lead times.