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Northamber returns to the Acer fold

Paul Kunert

Northamber has re-engaged with Acer after a near three year hiatus to carry the entire line of business products to SME resellers.

This helps to fill the gap in the Surrey-based distributor's portfolio caused by its split with Lenovo, as revealed by MicroScope several months ago.

Bobby Watkins, general manager for Acer UK, confirmed the partnership, "we think Northamber do a great job serving SME resellers, we've always thought that."

The contract with Northamber was not renewed at the start of 2007 because the then Acer UK managing director Gianpiero Morbello said the Ts&Cs and targets for the year could not be agreed upon.

Watkins said its channel model had not fundamentally changed but it was working more efficiently with distributors and the perception of the brand was different since it became the top notebook vendor across EMEA.

The PC giant has been accused of stuffing the channel with stock - a model that underpinned its meteoric rise - but distributors no longer claim that their shelves are straining under the weight of stock.

In the second quarter, 75% of Acer UK shipments were in the consumer market according to IDC, due to the massive growth of mini notebooks and the acquisition of Packard Bell.

Eszter Morvay, IDC research manager, said the business markets were in the doldrums so it was no surprise that Acer's sales were heavily slanted in favour on the retail space but she reckoned the vendor was also "pretty strong" in SMB.

Northamber was unavailable to comment.

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