Belkin set to name new distributor in Jordan

Networking, peripherals and accessories vendor Belkin is poised to name a new distribution partner in Jordan. The latest channel appointment forms part of Belkin’s ongoing efforts to develop a strong in-country distribution network across the region.

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By  Stuart Wilson Published  May 24, 2006

Networking, peripherals and accessories vendor Belkin is poised to name a new distribution partner in Jordan. The latest channel appointment forms part of Belkin’s ongoing efforts to develop a strong in-country distribution network across the region. “We started concentrating outside the UAE and in the last couple of months we have strengthened our distribution set-up in key markets such as Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Lebanon,” said Andre Van Rensburg, Middle East and Africa (MEA) manager at Belkin. “We are still busy negotiating and hope to finalise a distributor partner in Jordan soon — we are talking to a significant player in the Jordanian market.” Belkin currently uses Ashley and ITE Distribution in the UAE and works with both Aptec and Jarir Bookstore in Saudi Arabia. Kuwait’s Fitco has also been brought on board as a distributor alongside Digital Technologies in Lebanon. According to Van Rensburg, the quest to find a high-quality distributor capable of serving the appropriate channels remains a challenge. “Because most of our products are intended for retail, we do get some situations where potential partners try to kid us,” he said. “They try and sign up as a distributor when in actual fact they are predominantly a retailer in their own right. We work hard to make sure we identify the genuine distributors with retail reach in each country.” Belkin also has plans to expand its headcount in the MEA region with additional heads planned for growth markets including South Africa, Saudi Arabia and Turkey. With a whopping 15,000 individual SKUs in its portfolio, Belkin is understandably focusing its efforts on a few strategic product areas in the MEA region. “With 15,000 products, we realised the need to narrow this down and focus on a few specific areas in MEA,” explained Van Rensburg. “We are pushing hard in the wireless technology space and will introduce a number of new products in this area soon. In addition, we are concentrating on notebook and mobility accessories in this market. We also have a range of iPod accessories that are selling well.” Despite the highly competitive nature of the wireless networking market in the Middle East, Van Rensburg is confident that Belkin can grab a ‘significant’ market share due to its advanced technologies and competitive price points. Speaking at the recent Digital Consumer Channel event held in Fujeirah, Van Rensburg also had a clear message for retailers in the Middle East. “It is all about the margins that selling Belkin products offers them,” he said. “We are talking to major retailers now and the message is simple: sell Belkin and you will see significant margins — I am talking high double-digit margins that retailers may not be recognising on similar products from other vendors.”

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