Cellnet has formed a new business division, Cellnet Consumer Products, to focus on the convergence of AV and IT technologies in the consumer electronics sector.
The division represents a broadening of Cellnet’s traditional product base of telecommunications and IT products. The distributor’s managing director, Stephen Harrison, said the company had been looking to expand and diversify for some time.
“AV as a segment is quite appealing due to the convergence of home theatre,” Harrison said. “It is also a similar customer base to our mobile business.”
Harrison said Cellnet was already active in the higher end of the convergence market with the IT side of its business.
“We do plasma screens and projectors and other products in that space through our Cassa and IT Wholesale sides,” he said.
The new division has prompted the expansion of Cellnet’s partnership with Sony Computer Entertainment. Under the new contract, Cellnet will take over the distribution arrangements for Sony’s audio accessories in many of vendor’s mass retailer customers.
“It’s a start,” Harrison said. “But they’re not handing everything over on a silver platter — we’ve got to do a lot of work for it.”
Harrison said Sony had agreed to expand the relationship with Cellnet because it wanted a partner specialised in the area.
Cellnet would also launch its own range of AV accessories — initially cables and adaptors for home theatre use — to complement the Sony products.
Cellnet Consumer Products will initially supply RetraVision, Harvey Norman and Betta Electrical stores.
“I wouldn’t say we were targeting mass merchants,” Harrison said. “We are focusing first on key retailers, especially for the Sony part of the contract. We will also target non- traditional markets to up-sell the Sony range.”
Harrison said Cellnet would use its database to push the Sony range into diverse markets such as record stores, high street groceries, surf wear stores and smaller SMEs.
He said Cellnet was not currently looking to create further AV vendor partnerships but would reassess the situation in six months.