By Andy Tillett
Consumer PC vendor Packard Bell has announced its arrival in the Middle East signing an exclusive UAE distribution agreement with Grand Stores
Consumer PC vendor Packard Bell has announced its arrival in the Middle East signing a distribution agreement for the UAE with Grand Stores. A full range of Packard Bell notebooks, desktops, and its recently added portfolio of digital devices including MP3 and DVD players, will be stocked by the retail distributor. The products will be available at major power retailers in the UAE including Plug-Ins, Geant, RadioShack, Jacky’s, Max Electonics and Carrefour as well as Grand Stores’ ten retail outlets.
“We have attempted to launch the Packard Bell brand into the region before but we’ve always had people try to sell PCs and not a brand. It has taken longer for Packard Bell to be introduced because we have been looking for the right partner who believes in working with us to build up the name. We have plans to extend the brand across the region,” said Lenia Lacovides of Interfrontiers, the regional business development team for Packard Bell in the Middle East.
Packard Bell is the first IT partner to be signed by Grand Stores. The retailer says it has spent a long time looking for the right IT company to include in its portfolio and saw Packard Bell as a 'two-in-one' signing due to its range of digital devices. Packard Bell products go on sale from 29th August across Grand Stores outlets, backed by a marketing campaign.
“We can’t reveal exact details, but we are planning something very special for the marketing of the product range. All I can say is that it won’t be about price — the Packard Bell brand sells on the features and quality it provides,” said Christina Stylianou, director sales and marketing business to consumer at Interfrontiers.
“If you look at Packard Bell, it adds a lot of value to the product. We see a lot of brands that just compete on prices. We don’t want to play in that game, we want to sell products that last and have good value,” added Sreekumar Sreedhar, product manager digital imaging and computer media products at Grand Stores.
Packard Bell hopes that the coming months will give the brand a kick-start in the region, especially with Gitex and the New Year looming.
“Dubai is definitely the fastest growing market in our territory. I think the first choice a customer makes is whether they are going to buy a brand or not, and that depends on their perception and budget. I feel that the UAE market is very brand led, especially in the notebook sector. We will also be putting a big push on digital lifestyle products. As long as Dubai keeps building up and bringing more people to the region, business can grow and will grow for us,” said Vakis Chimonides, director product marketing at Interfrontiers.
Packard Bell is one of the top three consumer PC manufacturers in Europe, and part of worldwide Japanese computing giant NEC. Packard Bell’s sister company, NEC Computers International, which focuses on corporate PC sales, already has an established presence across the Middle East. Grand Stores is planning to expand its presence in the UAE with the addition of a new store in the Mall of the Emirates and a further store in Abu Dhabi before the end of the year.
Packard Bell introduces its range of desktops to the region shortly after Lenovo has announced it is to add a range of consumer PCs to its offering.