Exclusive by Patrick Avenell

Later today, Pioneer Australia will announce a new partnership with Pure Australasia to distribute digital radios. This marks Pioneer’s first foray into new categories since its global decision to withdraw from plasma.

Under the new partnership, Pioneer will act largely as a silent partner. The digital radios will be branded solely as Pure, and Pure will retain ownership of all the stock. Pioneer will be most heavily involved in marketing, warehousing, channel distribution and logistics. Should this new venture prove successful, Pioneer Australia will investigate more partnership opportunities based on a similar model.

At a private briefing yesterday, Pure Australasia managing director Graeme Redman told Current.com.au that he was attracted to Pioneer due its high-end brand focus and reputation for supplying new technology at a premium level.

“We share ideals in this industry,” said Redman. “We’re both market leaders in categories we operate in, Pure in digital radio and Pioneer in in-car entertainment.”

It was Pioneer’s strong position in the in-car market that originally prompted contact between the two companies, with Redman first seeking out Pioneer to distribute only one of the Pure radios – the specialty in-car unit. After a series of discussions, they decided that a partnership across the entire range would be mutually beneficial.

“I had three options with how to distribute the Pure brand. The first was setting up my own business, including hiring reps, getting a warehouse together. I worked out this would cost me about $1 million, it was a high-risk big exercise,” said Redman.

“Second was to outsource everything, such as logistics and agents. This would have cost a similar amount.

“Pioneer has reps or agents in every capital city and established distribution. We can share the gains and the pain.”

The Pure digital radio range comprises 11 units – the largest currently on the market. Conversely, though, Pure and Pioneer do not want to be players at the unit end of this market.

“We are definitely a value player. We deliver value for money and will never be the cheapest,” said Redman.

On the Pioneer side, promotions manager Michael Broadhurst said that Pioneer Australia could form more of these partnership arrangements, should the right opportunity present itself. The only constrict placed on this is that there can be no conflict with any Pioneer product lines on a global level.

Broadhurst also wished to make clear that the Australian office is definitely still open, despite an article in a rival news agency on 12 February saying its closure was “imminent”.

To find out which retailers are on board with Pioneer and Pure, and who’s holding out, click here.