Toshiba still swimming in channel

Toshiba still swimming in channel

Toshiba has no plans to change the way it does business in Australia, despite announcing it will begin dealing directly with customers in the US, the company's ISD general manager, Bruce Lakin, has revealed.

While the company announced its computer systems group will move into direct partnerships over the next two years, Lakin maintains that the decision is not the start of a global strategy.

"We have assessed the Australian situation and we will keep selling through the channel - it is the best business model for this part of the world," Lakin said.

He said while there were similarities between trends in the two markets, such as the growth of e-commerce and competition from other direct dealers, the company would not change the way it operates in Australia.

"The decision the US has made has more to do with the American market. There has been some very aggressive marketing from Dell and Compaq with the direct model and the accelerated trend to Internet trading. While those features are also part of the market here, we believe the current go-to-market strategy is the appropriate one," he said.

"Even in the US, the direct sales strategy is for a select number of corporate customers. Toshiba will still do around 60 per cent of its business through the channel."

According to GFK research, Toshiba's position in the Australian retail notebook market leapt from number three to number one in 1999. In November and December, Toshiba held 44 per cent of the market ahead of Compaq, with 31 per cent and IBM with 27 per cent.

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