Compaq salvages Coles Myer relationship

Compaq salvages Coles Myer relationship

Compaq has managed to salvage its relationship with Coles Myer, announcing on Friday the formation of a partnership that will see the two combine their previously disparate retail strategies.

The companies released a joint statement in an attempt to smooth over a week of tension and announced the results of a meeting held on Thursday.

Coles Myer began protracted negotiations with Compaq last week, apparently unhappy with its retail and Internet direct selling strategy amidst speculation that the entire alliance was being abandoned.

Peter Geer, IT buyer for Coles Myer, said during the negotiations that Compaq would cease plans to expand its stable of Compaq Connect stores beyond the original eight stores in Melbourne and Brisbane.

"Having been involved in discussions with them, I realise that their plans were to some degree developed in isolation and there was a whole lot of different perspectives they hadn't considered well before they made that announcement. Compaq's decision not to open any more stores at this stage has more to do with getting clarity of understanding of what the retailer can offer. I don't so much think of it as a backlash," said Geer.

The companies report they have now embarked on a new partnership to "meet the total IT solution needs of consumer and small business customers.

"Recent discussions between the two companies highlighted the fact that they had individually developed similar customer oriented strategies," the statement read.

However, the statement failed to reveal details of the partnership, the possibility of exploring the "stores within stores" concept, or the possibility of cross selling or Internet strategies.

ARN was unable to contact Compaq's managing director before going to press last Friday. Geer refused to add any further comment after the joint statement was issued.

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