By Stuart Wilson
Sales of genuine APC kit through authorised distributors in the Middle East have dropped off sharply in recent weeks after multiple containers loaded with fake product originating from the Far East landed in Dubai.
Sales of genuine APC kit through authorised distributors in the Middle East have dropped off sharply in recent weeks after multiple containers loaded with fake product originating from the Far East landed in Dubai. The UPS vendor is urging its channel partners and resellers to source product wisely to ensure that they are purchasing genuine goods.
Aaron Davis, VP worldwide marketing and communications at APC, commented: “Yes, we are well aware of the specific situation in the Middle East and are actively working to remedy it with all due haste to ensure the situation is rectified.”
“At present, all customers and partners should choose their sources wisely, and certainly seek clarification from our local staff as needed. We are developing alternate methods to ensure counterfeiting is an unattractive exercise in the market and will be rolling these out over the next few months,” he added.
The presence of fake product in the market creates issues for APC regarding its brand equity in the Middle East. Customers inadvertently purchasing fake product that they believe to be genuine APC product will automatically associate any problems relating to quality and reliability to the vendor itself.
“We are in the business of reliability, which extends to all aspects of the customer’s experience with APC solutions,” added Davis. “It is critical that when a customer pays for authentic APC goods, that he should receive the same. Anything less is unacceptable.”
While APC is not divulging the actual impact that the presence of fake has had on its sales in the region, authorised distributors claim that the counterfeit product has resulted in weaker sales than expected in recent weeks.
“We do not disclose specific volumes, but we are well aware that the potential intangible damage to the APC brand and our valued partners is as unacceptable as any potential practical damages,” continued Davis.
Counterfeiting remains a serious global issue in the IT sector. Vendors with the strongest brands are most likely to be targeted by counterfeiters as their products and name are most respected by customers. APC remains committed to taking action to rectify the current situation.
“As expected, we cannot disclose specific actions other than to say we are moving aggressively through the proper channels to rectify the problem both at the point of origin and also at any and all points of distribution,” added Davis.
“Our valued partners know as well as anyone what a serious issue this is, and they are our partners because they understand APC’s long-standing global commitment to channel integrity. Our message to them is to be patient as we correct the current situation and to maintain vigilance for anything similar in the future,” he concluded.