E-Store to Sell HP Gear Online in Philippines

E-Store Exchange.com, one of the country's earliest Internet retailers, has signed an agreement with Hewlett-Packard Philippines to become HP's first official local e-channel or online reseller.

The agreement formalizes the relationship between HP and E-Store, which has been reselling HP products such as ink cartridges and printer paper, as well as the Jornada handheld computer and the HP OfficeJet, the company's all-in-one scanner, printer and fax machine.

J.J. Soriano, E-Store president and chief executive officer, told Computerworld Philippines the company started offering HP products in June to gauge market reaction.

E-Store and HP were not disappointed. E-Store sold twice as much as an average traditional store, he said.

"We were getting orders from everywhere. There were orders from Dagupan and Cebu, for example. That's why we decided to develop the service further," said Soriano.

The two companies hope to increase the product lines available on the online store. Soriano said they will soon introduce other models of HP printers on the Web site. Soriano said they will still need to study the possibility of including desktop computers.

The agreement signed by the two companies actually allows E-Store to resell any of HP's products, including its servers, an official of HP said.

Soriano also said that E-Store is aiming to attract about 100 merchants to join the online mall before December this year or just in time for the expected Christmas shopping rush. E-Store currently has 18 merchants on the site.

The online mall has about 7,000 users, who have also performed some 50,000 transactions since the site opened up about 10 months ago, he added.

Soriano said the most active products on the site are the pre-paid phone cards for Globe Telecoms and Smart Communications. E-Store offers a service in which prepaid cellular subscribers of these two phone companies can dial into a toll-free number and download the access code and PIN for a prepaid card. Users must first register with E-Store once, however, before they will be allowed to use their credit card number on the system to complete a transaction.

By December, E-Store will also be able to offer COD (cash-on- delivery) payment schemes so that even those who don't have credit cards can shop on the Web site, said Soriano.

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