DPG director unhappy over Topfield distribution dumping

Digital Products Group, which was earlier this week dumped as the Australian distributor of Topfield set top boxes and PVRs, today launched a stinging attack on the Korean manufacturer for going behind its back to secure a new distributor.

In a statement released today, DPG founder and managing director, Jai Kemp, was clearly unhappy with Topfield’s decision to change its Australian distributor without first notifying his company.

“It didn’t come as a surprise to me. It was no secret they weren’t happy with Digital Products’ new direction. In turn, we weren’t happy with their recent lack of commitment and cooperation. It surprised me how they went about it though,” said Kemp.

“Digital Products Group have taken the Topfield brand from zero to hero in Australia, with an estimated average sell through of over AUD$21 million over the past 12 months, giving us approximately 20 per cent market share in the STB/PVR category. I expected they would’ve at least shown some respect by first informing us of their decision.”

According to Kemp, DPG is now looking at this as an opportunity to concentrate on its plan to distribute a larger range of products under a number of different brands, providing variety to its retail channels and adding more value to the company.

“This has all come as a bit of a blessing in disguise for us. Two years ago, we presented ideas to Topfield Korea to mutually expand our business, which they looked at negatively. We knew we really couldn’t take Topfield’s current product range any further in Australia and, more importantly, Topfield could give us no clear indication or confirmation that they could develop and supply us with the next generation product we required.

“It really came down to a simple choice for us. We decided to move forward seeking a manufacturer that would develop products we desired. This led us to a fantastic new start-up Korean company, Beyonwiz.

“Beyonwiz had a plan to develop a media centre style product. After almost two years of development, based fundamentally on DPG’s recommendations, we successfully launched the world’s most advanced PVR/Media Centre in March 2007.”

Kemp offered thanks to its retailers who have supported Topfield during the seven years it has been on the market.

“At DPG we pride ourselves on our strong market and industry knowledge, as well as our image amongst our peers,” said Kemp.

“Our retail partners and customers know we are experts in this category. We have ongoing training to keep our staff up to date Australia-wide, not only on our products but in digital TV technology generally. Not much will change here except we’ll continue to do this with our new brands.

“We have already successfully launched the Beyonwiz brand in Australia. We have just finalised talks with Korean STB manufacturing giant, Humax. We will be immediately taking up a portion of their distributorship in Australia and New Zealand.

“We have also worked closely with another Korean manufacturer, Homecast, for the past two years. Soon we’ll be announcing a new line up from them.

“Since the news, it’s amazing how many calls we’ve received from Korean companies who want us to work with them. We must be kind of a big deal over there.”

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