Logitech on hunt in KSA

Search for distributor takes top priority.

Computer peripherals vendor Logitech has exclusively revealed to Channel Middle East that it has begun the search for a new distribution partner in the Saudi market.

The Switzerland-based vendor, which made global sales of US$2.1 billion last year, believes it is under represented in terms of distribution coverage and has set its sights on finding a wholesaler with an understanding of the consumer channel. "We are currently looking at the possibilities of expanding our distribution channel to get closer to the market there as the retail sector is developing so much," said Robert Van Der Vegte, director Benelux and MEA at Logitech. "Saudi Arabia is the second biggest market in the region so it is time now for us to seriously and professionally go after that market," he said.

Logitech currently counts on MSO as its only in-country Saudi distributor, but believes the market is large enough for a "multiple distribution strategy" to ensure strong coverage of both the consumer and corporate channels.

Van Der Vegte says the vendor has already made progress with its search and expects to announce a tie-up soon. "We are currently visiting the candidates and inviting them to make the business plans," he revealed. "We are going to evaluate all the plans and make a very quick decision. I would say the decision will be made within the coming few months."

One of Logitech's primary stipulations is that the distributor it selects can demonstrate an ability to serve the retail market. Heinz Ettinger, acting general manager at Logitech Middle East, said: "MSO is very much focused on the independent channel and smaller dealers and resellers. The second partner has to be extremely strong on the retail side and have all the necessary contacts with the power retailers. Retail is a different ball game from the corporate business."

The move to appoint a new distributor in Saudi accompanies a wider push that Logitech is making in the Middle East. It is currently in the process of hiring staff to expand its retail team.

"The reason we are doing that is because we have new initiatives," said Van Der Vegte. "There is the communication with the consumer, not only outside the stores, but especially inside the stores so we are working closely with power retailers to find ways to implement a better communication of our categories and our products to the consumer."

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