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Apple resellers play down new direct store

Apple resellers play down new direct store

Resellers count on services, training and flexibility to offset any drop in retail sales

Sydney-based Apple resellers aren't worried about the tech giant’s new direct retail store in Sydney’s Bondi Junction.

According to My Mac Sydney operations manager, Peter Klein, the vendor had given plenty of notice about the store’s opening.

He said the opening was a positive because it would greatly boost brand awareness and business use of Apple products. My Mac has a store in Bondi Junction as well as Melbourne.

“We’ve always had a very loyal customer base,” he said. “We do expect retail sales to drop a little, but that should be offset by a rise in training support and services. It will probably be harder for JB Hi-Fi and David Jones [in Bondi Junction] because their focus is more on moving boxes."

While he expected some customers to look at the vendor’s store as the new premier source of Apple products in the area, he said most people would come to My Mac for its wider range of products and services.

Vita Group is the parent company of Apple reseller chain, Next Byte. Its CEO, David McMahon, said he didn’t expect retail sales to dip.

“Our nearest store is at Rushcutter’s Bay several kilometres away and it’s a B2B store,” he said. “We’ve known about the Bondi opening for a number of months and we don’t expect it to negatively affect us.”

McMahon said Apple couldn’t offer everything itself and there was always room for the channel.

“The Apple retail experience is great, but as a reseller we’ve got a lot more flexibility and value-added services,” he said.

“Resellers can offer a number of services that the Apple stores can’t and never will. It’s up to us to educate the customers that come to us on the differentiated points.”

McMahon said the Bondi store’s publicity and boost of iPad awareness would greatly assist Next Byte, which has its own in-house application development team.

Interest in the iPad had mainly come from the business sector, particularly the hospitality market, he said.

Other city-based resellers did not wish to be named but told ARN they would not be affected.

Apple had previously suggested iPads would be ready for shipping to premium resellers on the same day it went on sale at its own stores.

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Tags apple ipadMy Macvita groupnext byteDavid Jonesjb hi-fi

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