Local CE vendor widens the channel net

Local CE vendor widens the channel net

Consumer electronics vendor, Astone, is upping its distributor search to break into new markets.

The Australian-based vendor's product line-up includes MP3 players, speakers (such as the i-Series for iPod) and lifestyle products. It also has a range of computer accessories such as hard disk drives, storage devices, USB flash drives and memory cards.

Sales manager, Con Kakatsos, said Astone had been growing rapidly and wanted to explore different avenues. To help this push, he was looking to bring on up to five distributors by April.

"There are some distributors that are keen to take us on but I don't like to put all my eggs into one basket," he said. "I would like to find a distributor who prides themselves on driving a product and not just selling it."

Astone has already established direct relationships with several retailers, including Dick Smith, Tandy, Harvey Norman, Domayne and the Betta Electrical group.

"We are mainly aiming towards the retail channel and we may branch into other markets such as the corporate sector," Kakatsos said. Astone has been operating since 2005. It had found it difficult to establish the brand, he said.

"It takes a long time to educate people, get our products marketed and achieve in-store presence," he said. "It has been a hard slog and we are targeting all the major retailers. We have also just opened up distribution in the UK, US, Columbia, Singapore, Hong Kong, New Zealand and we are about to open in Switzerland.

"It is part of our brand strategy to go global. If we expand our wings and cast the net wide, you get a better presence and an opportunity to create a brand name."

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