CHS Electronics and Canon will part company as the vendor continues to focus its sales strategy, breaking a long-standing relationship between the two.
According to industry sources, Canon's remaining distributors were notified on 14 January that Canon and CHS would no longer work together from the end of March.
Andy Dow, general manager of peripherals at Computer 2000, said: 'The two have been together for a long time so I'm not sure what has prompted the split. But margins in general continue to fall and there is always the risk of over-distribution, so the move is an encouraging sign for C2000.'
Nick Culley, account director at Canon distributor Midwich Thame, claimed the split would not affect its own business dramatically: 'Most of CHS' business was in bubblejet printers, whereas our focus is on laser printers, so we didn't encounter too much customer overlap.'
Canon appointed Midwich as a distributor in September 1998, in a move to appoint distributors based on their ability to work with its full product range rather than to push particular products (PC Dealer, 2 September 1998).
Peter Rigby, director of marketing and communications at CHS, refused to confirm that the distributor's account with Canon had been terminated.
'We are discussing our relationship with Canon at present and our customers won't lose out during those discussions,' he said. Rigby also refused to comment on the value of the Canon contract.
But a representative at Canon confirmed the contract will not be renewed when it expires at the end of March. 'We are always reviewing our distributor relationships because what's right for our products and our channel changes from time to time,' he said, adding that there were no immediate plans to appoint a replacement.
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