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CCC eyes Egyptian retail channel

by Stuart Wilson, Friday 3 April 2009

Dubai-based Concentration Computer Company (CCC) plans to expand its regional retail channel reach at Digital Consumer Channel (DCC) MEA. Memory and storage-focused CCC used last year’s DCC as a platform to push into the Saudi Arabian market. Buoyed by this success, CCC will head back to Fujairah, UAE in May for DCC MEA 2009 to track down a new set of retail partners that will help the company break into Egypt.

Husam Alif, director at CCC, said: “We offer a portfolio of products to the retailers which all stem from the same family. Ultimately this means that we are in touch with only one retail category manager, our products complement each other very well and we have a bigger budget to spend on in-store marketing activities. Memory and storage have become very fast moving items and we offer different types of brands to target different market segments.”

“We are introducing new brands and vendors to our portfolio and want to showcase these to retailers [at DCC]. We are also looking to expand our reach into North Africa and aim to assign major resellers in this region. We also plan to strengthen our relationship with existing customers by meeting them during the event,” he added.

Egyptian retailers feature prominently on CCC’s meeting wish list for DCC MEA with Alif claiming that the market offers significant growth opportunities.

“[North African] markets have huge potential merely due to their size. However, as purchasing power is relatively low compared to GCC markets, we had not managed to break into these markets in the past. Due to our new product range, we are now working with brands that target lower-income customers and could be ideal for Egypt,” he explained.

“CCC as a company is keeping its operations costs to the minimum, which in turn enables us to outsource business units to third parties. As an example, our retail product deliveries are outsourced to Courier agencies such as FedEx, which ensures 12 to 24 hour product delivery upon receiving POs. We also outsource our marketing activities, allowing us to pay more attention in-store and track sales, competition, and pricing more efficiently,” he added.

“We work very closely with vendors to prepare a proposition for all retailers. As a result, we keep the same retail MSRP pricing across the channel as suggested by the vendor, and avoid direct competition between retailers in the same channels,” Alif continued.

“If we run price promotions, we ensure that promotional item is not displayed in other stores and that particular retailer has exclusivity on the promotion. On the margin side, we have worked with our vendors to increase overall retailer margins. During these difficult financial times, we want to focus on lower quantities but higher margins,” he commented.

CCC claims to have tripled its sales in the last year driven mainly by the growth of revenues from SimpleTech products. At the same time, CCC has worked hard to bring new vendors on board and plans to expand the reach and routes-to-market for its latest portfolio additions in 2009.

“I believe that during this financial crisis, weaker and smaller companies will be pushed out of the market, while bigger companies will grow even bigger through acquisitions,” stated Alif. “So while the market is growing more slowly than previous years, strong vendors and distributors can increase market share as the number of brands is decreasing.”

“We work very closely with local resellers in the GCC and assign one or two resellers per country. In return, we provide them with support to help them increase market share for our brands in their respective territories. At the same time, we are working to introduce a rebate programme for our partners to support them further in brining our brands to the market,” he concluded.

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.

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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