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Acer uncompromising about space for brand in regional market

Packard Bell brand due for launch this month as Acer assures there is room in the market

Acer is planning to introduce the new identity of the Packard Bell brand to its channel partners in the Middle East at the end of this month.

At an event to be held in Dubai on 22nd April, the vendor plans to tell key retail partners about its plans for the Packard Bell brand in this territory and unveil a new range of products.

Shashank Sharma, Packard Bell sales director for the META region, explains that since the vendor purchased the brand early last year and subsequently announced plans for its ‘multi-band strategy’, it has been subtlety infusing the brand into the consumer IT sector.

“We have done some initial work with the retailers because the key thing is you need to get the right specs and warranties processes and everything in order, and we have done some basic sales until now,” explained Sharma.

Sharma is convinced that Packard Bell will find a foothold in the Middle East consumer IT space, despite the market already being heavily subscribed with vendor wares. He says that this is a belief backed up by the reception that potential Packard Bell partners have already given to the brand.

“A lot of players have expressed their desire to partner with us because there are vendors that are not able to address the needs of the retailers and the consumers. Being one of the only brands in the whole PC game which is consumer-only, it brings in the additional thrust which the retailers are looking at in terms of attracting customers and giving them a total home or consumer experience,” continued Sharma. “We have been welcomed by some retailers, some retailers have expressed reservations about the times we are in and if introducing a new brand [is a good idea,]but seeing some of the sell-out that they have seen of the small products we have put out there before this launch it has been very encouraging for them.”

Over the last few months of 2008 and the first quarter of this year Sharma has been involved in lining up distribution alliances and retail partners to take the Packard Bell range of products — which includes a netbook to challenge the rapidly expanding mini-PC sector — to market in many of the countries around the region.

According to the vendor, in addition to UAE with names such as Sharaf DG and Metra, these markets include Kuwait with Yusuf Alghanim retail chain taking the contract and Saudi distributor Samir2 answering the logistics call in the Kingdom.