Packard Bell, the consumer side of NEC Computers Australia, has thrown its support behind the traditional mass retailer model, ruling out any online direct retailing moves for another year.
In an interview with ARN, (see page 56) Farley Bartholomeusz, general manager NEC Computers Australia Consumer division, proclaimed that Packard Bell was committed to its current retail strategy. After asserting its commitment to retailers last year at a time when other vendors were reportedly considering direct sales, he has again reassured PB retailers that it was not being considered for the next 12 months.
"I am adamant that we will continue to work with the mass retailers," Bartholomeusz said in the recent interview.
And the retail-only policy as applied in Australia is set to be rolled out across selected countries in the region for which Bartholomeusz has been appointed VP sales and marketing.
"They've asked me to apply the principles we have applied here and with a view to being number one in the retail sector in the next 12 months," Bartholomeusz said.
The region takes in the Middle East, Asia and the Pacific and was added to his responsibilities following the acquisition of Packard Bell by NEC Computers in January.
PB's local retailers are Harvey Norman, Tandy, Harris Scarfe (SA, Vic and Tas), Retravision (NSW and Vic), Bing Lee (NSW) and was recently reinstated to selected Myer-Grace Bros stores.
Bartholomeusz said he was happy with the current retail spread, which he described as giving the Packard Bell brand good coverage.
As for the effect of the acquisition by NEC, he said that it's going to be great for Packard Bell to leverage all the technology that NEC has to offer.
"And we also have a global player backing the brand, with the most flexible marketing model, which our competition doesn't have," he added.
"We have two distinct brands - Packard Bell is clearly focused on retail and NEC on the commercial area."
Bartholomeusz's affirmation of bricks-and-mortar retailers comes in the face of an apparent expansion of direct and online sales by PC vendors.