Hardware accessories vendor, Belkin, is hiring three new retail channel sales managers in an effort to greatly improve its engagement.
Senior manager for marketing, Denis Valente, said the vendor had a new strategy in place and a key element was using extra staff to greatly boost engagement with independent retailers.
“There are a massive number of independent retailers in the channel and while we’ve been incredibly successful in our direct retail business we’ve not had an adequate focus on those independents,” he said. “We’ve got a fresh view as to how we increase our business in that market. There will be a degree of increase in the time spent with system integrators, but this is predominately an independent retail play.”
Valente said the push had not truly begun, but staff had been briefed and were ready to run with the new strategy.
He noted engagement with major retailers had been excellent ever since it entered the market by buying out a local company Micra Digital.
“The people we have at the moment have been spending a lot more time in the volume, online and OEM channel,” he said. “We expect to have the new people on by the New Year so that we can really start the process.”
Valente claimed independent retailers did not have a disadvantage compared to the major national chains when it came to Belkin product pricing.
“The major retailers obviously have the buying power and the independents wouldn’t have the trading terms or the visibility and there are all sorts of things you can’t apply to that channel,” he said. “But we’ll be very competitive in that space without cutting our own throats in the other channels.
“It’s not about driving around visiting thousands of stores, it’s more about macro-level management and closely working with distributors as well… being a bit more proactive, supplying specials, deals and passing on more product information.”