Gateway still committed to Middle East

PC manufacturer Gateway, which is currently considering the future of its operations outside of the US, is still in business in the Middle East, the company has stressed.

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By  Mark Sutton Published  August 20, 2001

Gateway will decide by mid-September what it plans to do with its Middle East operations. The company is currently conducting a review of operations outside of the US as it moves to a more service focused approach.

The company has recently chosen a new strategy focused on selling PCs, software, accessories and training to small businesses, but there have been doubts as to whether this move would work outside of the US. There has been considerable speculations that the company may shut down manufacturing operations in Ireland and its extensive retail chain in the UK. A Gateway spokesperson was keen to point out that the Middle East operation was separate to both these set ups, and that business will continue as usual until the decision has been made.

“We are still in the consultation phase, and the region has not been affected at all,” said Sophie Michaelides, PR Manager for Gateway SEEMEA. “We are looking closer into our business in Ireland and England, and it mat be that a decision on Ireland would effect us, but it is business as usual until then.”

Michaelides said that a decision to close the Irish plant might mean a withdrawal from the Middle East, or that the Middle East would source products from the US. She did point out that Gateway would not leave customers or partners out on a limb. “In no way would we leave the market unserviced,” she said.

International sales accounted for just 12 per cent of the company’s $1.5billion global sales revenue during the second quarter. The foreign markets at risk include the Middle East, along with Asia, Europe, Africa and Latin America.

“Gateway will decide on what action, if any, is necessary [by September 10th],” said spokesman Mike Buchanan. “It may take a little longer…hopefully it will take less. If the company decides that the overseas markets can’t achieve the goal of being profitable, it might mean significant restructuring or even withdrawal from that particular market.”

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