New Dick head
Retailer Dick Smith Electronics has found a new general manager internally after the resignation of Jeff Grover, who retired at the end of 2001. New GM Greg Foran has spent the last 12 months as general manager for merchandise logistics at Dick Smith's parent company, Woolworths Supermarkets. Prior to that, he was CEO of the Australian office of The Warehouse Group of New Zealand. Before that, he held a number of similar positions at Franklins Australia and Woolworths New Zealand. As general manager, Foran will oversee Dick Smith Electronics, Dick Smith Electronics Powerhouse and Tandy.
Hard disk consortium
Eight major electronics companies have formed a consortium aimed at standardising and popularising a new removable hard disk system based around 2.5-inch drives for use in computer and consumer electronics. Members of the iVDR (Information Versatile Disk for Removable usage) consortium include some of the biggest names in Japanese electronics: Canon, Fujitsu, Hitachi, Phoenix Technologies, Pioneer, Sanyo Electric, Sharp and Victor of Japan (JVC). Two manufacturing companies, FCI Japan and Mitsumi Electric, are supporting the consortium but are not members. As broadband Internet connectivity spreads and digital video and audio become more popular, engineers are increasing the capacity of hard disks.
Printers on the up
Printers gave resellers something to smile about in December after sales rose 21 per cent for the month, according to channel analyst Inform. The spike in sales saw printers finish the year with a 10 per cent year-on-year growth rate. Despite the positive result in unit sales, the Australian printer market lost 3 per cent in value terms over 2000, said Stuart James, Inform's chief printer market analyst. "Competitive pricing by vendors in 2001 reduced the value take of the overall printer market."