Retail sales a winner for Toshiba

The retail channel has proven fertile soil for Toshiba with the notebook vendor reporting retail sales have grown 144 per cent year on year.

The company has been ramping up its retail strategy over the last 12 months, appointing Robert Wilkinson national retail sales manager to build and develop the company in the retail market, according to Phil Cameron, Toshiba's national sales manager.

"Over the last 18 months, our retail sales have grown from 5 per cent of our business to 18 per cent across Australia and New Zealand," he said.

The record sales have been made through a select group of retailers including Harvey Norman, Myer Grace Bros, Officeworks, Dick Smith Electronics and David Jones.

Toshiba has managed to capitalise on the hole left by Compaq when Harvey Norman terminated its relationship with the vendor in August last year in protest to its direct retail stores. Describing the discontinuation as "perfect timing", Cameron said Harvey Norman led its retail list in terms of notebook sales.

The reason for the success of Harvey Norman's strategy is partly because of the popularity of its retail-only products which are separate to the general channel. Toshiba only offers its retail products to a select group of dealers.

"It allows retailers to focus on the product and it is designed specifically for the retail market."

Toshiba supplies retailers with four specialist Satellite models and a 15 inch notebook. It will continue building and analysing to further its retail channels while continuing to protect its existing retailers, according to Cameron.

Another reason for the increase lies in the booming SME market.

"We've seen small and medium-sized businesses buying notebooks rather than a desktop PC, especially with the 14 and 15 inch screens, which was previously a limiting factor," Cameron said.

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More about CompaqDavid JonesDick Smith ElectronicsGrace BrosHarvey Norman HoldingsMyer Grace BrosNormanOfficeworksToshiba

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