HP and Officeworks direct partnership hits the wall

HP and Officeworks direct partnership hits the wall

Vendor and retailer refuse to comment on whether Officeworks' new deal with Dell is to blame

HP has cut direct ties with Officeworks just weeks after the retailer signed up as the first Australian partner for Dell.

Officeworks spokesperson, Fecilia Booth, confirmed its direct relationship with HP was at an end but said the retailer will continue sourcing HP products via distribution.

"We're changing the way we are purchasing from HP - we will no longer be buying direct, but through distribution," she said. "My understanding is we will still be selling the same products and negotiating prices with HP."

The new purchasing arrangement only applied to HP computer products, Booth said.

She was unable to comment on whether the change was the direct result of the retailer's new relationship with Dell.

Announced earlier this month, Officeworks' partnership with Dell sees it stocking a range of the vendor's desktop PCs, notebooks, printers, LCD displays and accessories across 140 stores nationally. Select Officeworks locations will also offer customers the ability to configure their own Dell machines in-store. Officeworks also carries PCs and notebooks from Acer and Asus.

Booth also declined to comment on whether Officeworks will be able to negotiate the same pricing terms as it had as a direct HP retailer, but insisted the procurement changes will not impact its retail pricing.

HP vice-president and Personal Systems Group (PSG) general manager South Pacific, Tony Bill, confirmed the direct procurement arrangement with Officeworks was off but avoided commenting on why it had ended.

"HP continually evolves our channel strategy, with a focus on building relationships with partners that have the best opportunity for mutual growth and have demonstrated a strong commitment to HP," he said in a statement to ARN.

The changeover comes into effect on June 1. It does not have any bearing on Officeworks' sister company and IT retailer, Harris Technology.

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