CompuMe brings Packard Bell to the Middle East

NEC Computer International (NEC CI) has appointed CompuMe as its authorised distributor for Packard Bell products in the Middle East. Packard Bell is the brand name for NEC's consumers PCs.

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By  Simon Duddy Published  September 29, 2003

In a new deal CompuMe will exclusively sell Packard Bell desktops, notebooks and PDAs in the Middle East. The products, which are assembled in France, will range from those aimed at the entry-level consumer segment to high-end models.

NEC has used this distribution model, in partnerships with retailers such as the Dixons group in the UK, to great effect in Western Europe. Packard Bell is one of the best selling consumer PC brands in Europe and is the number one brand in several countries including the UK.

Michel de Bievre, executive director international division, NEC Computers International, said that the focus would be on the higher end products because of higher returns in this area. The company is also focusing first on the GCC.

The Middle East is a new market for Packard Bell, although NEC's business products are well established. Stelios Symeonides, business development manager consumer markets of InterFrontiers (regional development business unit for NEC CI) explained the appeal of the region, "The Middle East has been witnessing double digit growth in IT products, in contrast to slower sales in Europe. The region has a large and youthful population that is fascinated by computers and technology."

De Bievre explained how Packard Bell aimed to catch this youthful market, "Packard Bell is the only PC manufacturer to continuously invest in the consumer market - driving and delivering upon consumer demands and desires. Its strategy is to propel digital entertainment at home through innovative technology, bold new designs and stronger partnerships, designed to meet the specific needs of the general public. Packard Bell products are sold exclusively through the retail channel. Our research shows that consumers are worried that as the desktop market matures, brands will cease to innovate. That's why we have focused our efforts on making the name Packard Bell synonymous with innovation."

CompuMe also unveiled a new retail strategy called CompuMe Express. Dikran Tchablakian, CompuMe CEO said, "CompuMe Express is a new chain of kiosks that will be located at major malls and shopping centres. The kiosks will be 'shops within shops' and will allow the average shopper easy access to IT products and consumables. The first CompuMe Express store was recently opened at the Hara'a mall in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Another will open soon in Riyadh and we plan to open 20 mega stores and Express stores across the GCC within the next two years."

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