Samsung explains Harvey Norman exclusion

By Patrick Avenell

SYDNEY: Samsung’s notebook retail strategy is focused on four major retail organisations, but conspicuous by its absence is the nation’s biggest and most iconic retailer, Harvey Norman. The business manager for notebooks at Samsung, Emmanuele Silanesu, explained this decision.

“We have spoken to the Harvey Norman steering committee, and we agreed not to proceed,” he said.

“We know their system through and through. We don’t want to be everything to everyone. We see them as the retail super highway – they are great at moving boxes – but that’s not our short term plan.”

“We want to go deep rather than wide, and with the retailers who can deliver our full story.”

Traditionally, when suppliers choose a selected, or narrow, retail strategy, the underlining motive is to maintain prices. Samsung’s new notebook range is centred on a value proposition, rather than units, with the top-of-the-line model carrying an RRP of $2,999. Even the netbooks in the range – or mini-notebooks as Samsung call them – are at the pricier end of the category, starting at RRP $899.

Although not explicitly stated, there could be a fear at Samsung that too wide a retail strategy will lead to aggressive price competition and a devaluation of the product.

Samsung’s official line, however, does not cover this speculation. Samsung attributes the limiting of retailers to the logistical impossibility of meeting with every store’s staff in its national training campaign for the notebook range.

“We need sell through, not sell in,” said Silanesu. “We need to visit the store, not the buyer at the group.”

Also missing out on the Samsung notebook range are Retravision, Clive Peeters and WOW Sight & Sound, amongst other groups and independents. Silanesu said all retailers not confirmed at launch were “not on the short term plan”.

To read more about Samsung’s retail strategy, and the who is stocking the new range, click here.

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