Japanese vendor giant, Panasonic, has appointed Perth-based GBI Sales, as a new national distributor.
GBI Sales will distribute Panasonic’s Premiere Home Theatre Plasma Series, which includes the vendor’s range of high-end plasma display panels.
In 2008, GBI Sales was Pioneer Electronics Australia’s distributor, but the vendor pulled out of the television market earlier this year.
GBI managing director, Mark Gibson, said while the distie was still working with Pioneer in audio devices, it needed to find a display panel vendor for its specialist resellers.
“We started conversations with Panasonic because we like to sell the whole package and Panasonic brought the 300 engineers from Pioneer so they were a natural fit,” he said.
Gibson said while Pioneer was not making any new panels, GBI would continue to sell the remaining stock with fresh panels expected in Australia within two to three months.
He said the distie didn’t expect sales figures with Panasonic to be as high as they were with Pioneer.
“It’s slightly different because with Pioneer we represented the whole market in Harvey Norman and everywhere. With these we’re very focussed on the specialist market,” he said.
Analysts have claimed overall sales figures for plasma and LCD televisions remain robust. Panasonic was named one of the three leading brands.
Gibson said his company was experiencing strong plasma screen growth, despite the emergence of competing technologies such as OLED screens.
“They’re still an infant technology. It’s probably three to five years away from being a technology that can compete in the large-format display market,” he said.