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Seagate sets out retail agenda

by Stuart Wilson, Tuesday 31 March 2009

Seagate will drive towards Middle East retail channel success by participating at this year’s Digital Consumer Channel (DCC) event in the UAE. During the event, which takes place on May 19th to 21st, Seagate will display their award winning external drive solutions to hundreds of senior retail executives from across the region.

Seagate will be displaying its external drive solutions - the FreeAgent family. The FreeAgent product portfolio includes mobile ultra slim storage solutions, desktop storage solutions, Mac ready solutions and a media centre. Additional accessories are also available.

Sofocles Socratous, senior sales manager Middle East, Africa, Greece and Turkey at Seagate Technology, said: “DCC MEA offers Seagate the platform to meet and establish long term partnerships with the regions leading retailers, find out more about their retail requirements, and gather information concerning each region’s local consumer needs. It also allows Seagate to present its MEA retail strategy and explain how we can grow the retailer’s revenue and increase their profits.”

“We have seen a dramatic growth in sales over the past 12 months in the entire MEA region, with the demand for storage retail solutions growing at an exponential rate, with the main drivers of growth being the creation of digital content and the explosion of broadband internet,” Socratous added.

“Consumers are constantly producing more and more personal and business content and require somewhere to store their digital content, or back-up their PCs and notebooks to ensure that their content is safe in case of a virus attack or system breakdown,” he continued.

The Middle East retail channel for consumer electronics and IT products continues to mature and develop at a rapid pace. More than 100 senior retail executives from 15-plus countries will attend Digital Consumer Channel (DCC MEA) MEA in May 2009. The event offers vendors and distributors insight into markets across the region and the opportunity to accelerate or improve their go-to-market retail strategy.

The event also serves as a powerful platform for vendors to present their complete retail strategy to retailers – something that Seagate intends to take full advantage of.

“Retailers will benefit from Seagate’s investment in MEA, as they will receive local support from Seagate’s merchandising team, marketing budgets to help promote the products, and dedicated account management,” added Socratous.

“Retailers will also benefit from Seagate’s channel investment in generating consumer awareness and demand for the Seagate FreeAgent solutions, leading to retail partners selling our products at healthy margins,” he added.

“Seagate’s key retail channel partner programme allows retailers to be rewarded with special supported prices, and if they achieve quarterly volume objectives, they can be rewarded with additional rebates. Our programme allows retailers to receive the correct rebates depending on their margin requirements and company type, so that the street price will be consistent throughout the market and to avoid confusion to the end user,” Socratous explained.

Seagate offers retailers in-store support through its local sales and merchandising team. These teams regularly visit retailers and support in-store Seagate promotions, sales training, assistance dealing with customers, product support, and merchandising. Seagate can also provide POS stands and materials (in Arabic) that can be ordered by retailers, and marketing budgets to help the retailer promote the Seagate products through their own marketing vehicles.

Seagate reckons that it doubled its market share in the retail drive space to 30% during 2008. The vendor also claims that the total addressable market for external drives quadrupled during full year 2008 with the emergence of new storage hungry product categories.

“Seagate will continue to invest in this region, and will soon launch several marketing initiatives to retailers and end users, rewarding them for their loyalty. We will also continue to invest in seminars and road shows, providing Seagate with a platform to continue to meet resellers and consumers and to find out more about their needs, and display our long-term commitment to this region,” Socratous concluded.

For more information on DCC MEA please visit the event website. Qualifying retailers receive free accommodation, meals and airport transfers for the event. Please note that vendor spaces are strictly limited at DCC MEA and are available on a first come first served basis.

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