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Sun 6 Apr 2008 01:49 PM

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Accessories ace close to first channel appointment

Notebook and gadget accessory vendor Powertraveller to bring range to Middle East once distributor is signed

Digital and laptop accessories vendor Powertraveller is preparing to launch its products in the Middle East within the next two months after holding talks with several retail-focused distributors.

Channel Middle East has learned that the UK-based outfit - which offers a diverse portfolio of laptop devices, chargers and portable power adapters - is studying a shortlist of five local distribution candidates with a view to announcing a formal tie-up in the coming weeks.

"Ideally we are looking to appoint our first distributor by the start of the May and the plan is to initially start with one partner before bringing in another during the third quarter," explained James Norris, who is responsible for establishing the brand in a number of emerging markets. "We have purposely not shipped anything into the region before now because we realised that we first needed to build a structured channel that is profitable for the retailers."

The distributors that Powertraveller has had discussions with are all based in the UAE and boast coverage of multiple markets throughout the Gulf region. At least one of them is understood to be a reputed hardware assembly integration company that has expressed an interest in taking on distribution duties.

Norris claims the priority is to select a distributor capable of nurturing the brand and ensuring that it receives strong exposure in the consumer channel. "We have been looking for somebody with the creativity to take the product to market; someone that can drive awareness with marketing initiatives that work and offer the depth of customers in key markets such as Saudi Arabia," he said.

The search for a Middle East distributor marks Powertraveller's first real attempt to establish a partner network outside of mature markets such as the UK and US. In those countries it sells through a number of channels including e-retailers, e-commerce companies and in-flight retail brochures.

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