Packard Bell presses on

PC vendor Packard Bell reckons that strong sales in Western Europe during the third quarter of 2005 are a solid indicator of the brand’s potential in the Middle East. With more Middle East distribution tie-ups in the pipeline, the vendor remains supremely confident that it will be firmly established as a premier brand in the region by the end of 2005.

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By  Stuart Wilson Published  October 30, 2005

PC vendor Packard Bell reckons that strong sales in Western Europe during the third quarter of 2005 are a solid indicator of the brand’s potential in the Middle East. With more Middle East distribution tie-ups in the pipeline, the vendor remains supremely confident that it will be firmly established as a premier brand in the region by the end of 2005. Packard Bell, citing IDC figures, claims that it sold more consumer desktops in Western Europe than any other PC vendor during the third quarter of 2005. In total, Packard Bell shifted 336,693 consumer desktop units, representing a 52.2% sales spike year-on-year. Packard Bell has developed a strong position in the European retail channel. “We’re very proud of our strong desktop performance at this crucial time of the year,” said Alexandre Vecchietti, product marketing director EMEA at Packard Bell. “It demonstrated the attractiveness of our desktop offer and shows that we’re on track to record a fourth consecutive year of growth.” Christina Stylianou, sales and marketing director at Interfrontiers, Packard Bell’s business development partner for the Middle East, added: “The new figures from Europe are very encouraging for us and we expect to see some of this filter through to our region in the Middle East and English speaking Africa.” “With the appointment of Grand Stores in the UAE and plans to announce other distribution partners throughout the region shortly, we are confident that our presence will be firmly established by the end of 2005,” added Stylianou. To emulate its Western European position in the Middle East, Packard Bell will need to get more power retailers on board and also increase its channel breadth. With retail sales still highly fragmented in the Middle East, and strong relationships already established between A-brand vendors and power retailers, Packard Bell must overcome several challenges to increase its market share. In Western Europe, Packard Bell has a very strong relationship with regional IT retail powerhouse Dixons. Packard Bell has been busy promoting its recent tie-up with Grand Stores in the UAE, including the use of billboard advertising on Sheikh Zayed Road in Dubai. While Grand Stores undoubtedly has a powerful reputation in product areas such as perfumes, linen, luggage, gifts and dinnerware, its ability to shift IT kit in significant volumes is as yet unproven.

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