Hewlett-Packard's interim head of the UK Personal Systems Group is re-evaluating its strategy in the retail space to ascertain how it can regain the top spot in the UK PC arena without using price to rent share.
As revealed by MicroScope last week, HP was pushed into third place in the UK PC market by Dell and Acer as its Q2 desktop and notebook shipments dropped 19% and 29.2% respectively, according to IDC.
Split down further, HP posted a 10.3% drop in commercial desktops sales and a 44.3% fall in consumer desktops, while business notebooks dived 45.4%.
It was however the consumer portable market - which grew 30.6% overall and accounted for around one third of all PCs sold in the UK - where HP haemorrhaged market share with shipments falling 14.6%.
"If you look at where we lost share it was in retail," said Jos Brenkel, interim PC boss at HP UK, "what we need to understand is how do we want to play at the entry level price points because it is those entry level price points that drive share."
Plans are under consideration but he added there is no logic in renting market share, "it makes no sense to lose money in retail and gain market share."
Many in the channel will be familiar with Brenkel, who ran HP's EMEA channel for five years until taking over as the head of PSG for the Middle East, Mediterranean and Africa (MEMA), a role he still holds.
The netbook segment is one of the challenges facing HP in the retail space, sales represented 20% of all consumer portables or around 400,000 units last quarter and Acer, along with Samsung and Dell are the major players in that space.
For its part, HP has been less aggressive as the average unit prices (AUPs) are lower and so is the corresponding available margin, a point not lost on Brenkel who is still assessing the best routes to market for the devices.
"In my region (MEMA) the main go to market for mini notes is telco, not retail. In fact mini notes don't sell that well in retail and I don't think retailers want to sell mini notes that well because they will lower AUPs, so do not get ROI on their stores."
In the second quarter, HP "consciously stepped back from certain deals" said Eszter Morvay, research manager at IDC.
This strategy suggested the vendor might not regain the top spot in a Q3 that will "continue to be driven by aggressive mini notebook offering", she said.
Morvay added HP was not alone as Toshiba and Sony had also pursued a similar strategy and were choosing their fights carefully.