Big BenQ arrives in NZ

Big BenQ arrives in NZ

TAIWANESE electronics manufacturer BenQ has arrived in New Zealand, bringing with it a raft of products ranging from monitors to mobile phones.

After launching its wares at this year’s Tech Pacific Showcase, the goods have finally gone on sale at Harvey Norman, with Retravision soon to follow.

The vendor is also opening an Auckland office to serve New Zealand, employing four staff, though much support will come from Australia, where BenQ already operates, employing 55.

Sydney-based national retail business manager Jessica Brown says BenQ will be all-channel, with Tech Pacific acting as sole distributor.

After focusing on the major retailers, Brown says she aims to build up a reseller base of several hundred outlets.

“We are looking at moving forward immediately with Harvey Norman and Retravision to replicate our [Australian] retail business model,” she told Reseller News.

Harvey Norman sales will begin immediately, focussing on MP3 players, projectors and a range of notebooks.

Retravision sales will begin later in the year with a focus on LCD monitors.

Other stores are expected to come on board eventually, including Farmers and the Pacific Retail Group.

Brown says many BenQ resellers will tend to be electrical rather than just IT resellers because of the company’s strong electrical goods heritage.

BenQ claims to be the world’s second largest manufacturer of panels behind Samsung but ahead of LG. It also claims to be the world’s fourth largest manufacturer of mobile phone handsets, supplying for two well-known brands; and promising a new range of “smartphones” arriving here in February.

BenQ employs 15,000, with manufacturing plants in Taiwan, Malaysia and Mexico as well as offices in 34 countries. It is part of the PanAcer group, which includes PC producer Acer.

For many years, BenQ has produced for other global brands, but has recently moved towards selling under its own label.

Brown says OEM work used to be responsible for 90% of BenQ output, but this has now fallen to half, as the producer felt its products were well suited to the retail market under its own brand.

“All our products have increased functionality and a better price because we make them ourselves,” she says.

After targeting retailers and building up a channel, Brown says the vendor will eventually aim for government contracts.

In the meantime, she expects New Zealand to snap up some 3000-4000 LCD monitors a month, with the vendor taking large market shares with its other goods.

Tech support will be provided from Australia through an 0800 telephone number, but service and support partners have been signed up in New Zealand to provide this service locally.

Brown believes “tech savvy” New Zealand will warm to the “distinct look and feel” of BenQ products.

“We are coming to make an impact. We believe we have identified the two retailers who can do it,” she adds.

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