A retail storm is brewing after Big W launched a campaign offering a Toshiba Satellite Pro notebook for under $1000.
Big W advertised a Satellite Pro A120 notebook for $998 in a NSW daily newspaper on October 20. The price is $487 less than the recommended retail price of $1485. The notebook features a 15.4-inch widescreen, Intel 1.89GHz processor, 60GB hard drive, 128MB shared video memory and Windows XP Pro. The offer is available until stocks last. Toshiba general manager of information systems, Mark Whittard, said the vendor had not instigated or authorised the sub-$1000 campaign. It was now looking into ways to rectify the situation.
"We were not happy at all," he said. "We had no control over that, as the product went out through distribution."
Ingram Micro director of retail sales, Marlene Gant, said the notebooks had been sold through its commercial division to a subdistributor, TriForce. This was confirmed by Whittard.
"We had no knowledge of where the stock was going. There was no special margin or pricing on the products," Gant said. "No alarm bells went off internally."
When contacted by ARN, TriFroce director, Abbas Aly, denied any involvement in the deal. Gant said Ingram's consumer business dealt directly with Big W for several PC lines. These did not include Toshiba.
A Big W spokesperson confirmed it had led the price campaign. It had sourced several Toshiba models.
The spokesperson pointed out the laptop industry had slowed while consumers waited for new high-end chips, as well as Windows Vista.