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Supermarket bargain causes upset

Supermarket bargain causes upset

A new deal to sell Kyocera printers through a discount supermarket chain has raised the hackles of at least one reseller.

Aaron Lovelace of The World’s Best PCs in Kaiapoi, north of Christchurch, was perturbed to find his local Countdown supermarket selling a Kyocera printer for less than his dealer buy price.

The store was selling Kyocera’s entry-level FS720 printer at $159, he says.

“We can’t even buy it at that price,” says Lovelace.

It is also nearly $100 lower than the $257 recommended retail price listed on Kyocera’s website.

Such deals from mass retail outlets create an uneven playing ground, making its hard for resellers to compete, says Lovelace. Vendors and their distributors should protect their resellers from such uneven competition, he adds.

However in this instance the vendor and one of its distributors are behind the deal.

Countdown parent company Progressive Enterprises worked with Ingram Micro and Kyocera on a bulk order of the printers to sell in a once-off promotion, says Ingram Micro marketing manager Scott Cowen.

The size of the order enabled Ingram Micro and Kyocera to provide Progressive with good pricing, says Cowan.

“Progressive bought a number of containers’ worth. With any large deal the price can be negotiated,” he says.

While acknowledging individual resellers are unable to secure similar bulk pricing, Cowan says Ingram Micro often uses its buying power to cut special deals with vendors, which it passes onto resellers.

“When we buy in bulk the channel benefits. That is a big role Ingram Micro plays in looking after smaller resellers. They can take advantage of our buying power,” he says. “That is the challenge we face. We want to support the IT channel, but we also sell to retail.”

The recent deal with Progressive was the first time Kyocera printers have been sold through a supermarket chain in New Zealand, says Cowen.

Progressive continuously looks for new technology products to offer on a periodic basis and Ingram Micro has in the past supplied the chain with Lexmark printers and ink cartridges, he says.


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