Partners boost e-retail, reveal Hannspree deal

New distribution partnership secures rights to LCD TV brand in Middle East

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By  Administrator Published  February 1, 2007

Taiwan-based LCD TV manufacturer Hannspree has appointed newly launched distribution company e-retail as its exclusive distributor in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA).

The announcement was made as IT distribution giants Memory Technology Corporation (MTC) and EMPA Middle East unveiled the e-retail brand as a joint venture between the two companies.

Rahb Hamidaddin, president of EMPA Middle East, said the e-retail enterprise would aim to cater to gaps in various product segments in the Middle East consumer electronics and IT markets.

"This partnership with MTC in the creation of a retail arm is part of our strategy to strengthen our operations in the region by leveraging the benefits of collective expertise and resources," he added.

e-retail will initially look to distribute Hannspree products through power retail outlets after its initial plans to pursue a more direct route-to-market were frustrated by the scarcity of affordable retail space in Dubai's shopping malls, explained MTC CEO Houssam Mobied.

"However, we are on course to open a e-retail outlet in the first half of 2007 at Festival City in Dubai with another planned for the forthcoming Dubai Mall sometime in the first quarter of 2008," he added.

"In the interim we are shipping Hannspree to major retail outlets such as Virgin Megastore. Hannspree's products are pitched a premium offerings and we believe our distribution model should reflect these aspirations in terms of how the products are displayed."

MTC also announced its intention to expand the e-retail channel operation from its Jebel Ali Free Zone base to include a customer service centre in Dubai later this year. "Customers in the region can not only expect high quality and innovative products at e-retail, they will also experience the highest levels of customer service," claimed Samer el Borhan, the general manager of e-retail.

Borhan revealed that the company was considering distributing Hannspree's entry-level product range to Middle East hypermarket retailers as part of phase two of its development plan, but would not be drawn on when this may occur. While declining to reveal sales projections, Borhan said e-retail had high expectations for the Hannspree brand, particularly in the countries of the GCC.

Both MTC and EMPA Middle East hope to leverage their combined experience of distributing consumer electronics goods in partnership with brands including Philips, Samsung and Toshiba, to successfully service Hannspree's MENA channel partners.

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