Britain's biggest consumer electrical buying group is spreading its wings into the computer retail business with a deal to hold PCs in central stock for the first time.
Andover-based Combined Independent Holdings, which represents 800 members and 1,600 outlets, is taking three models from Olivetti's Xana multimedia consumer PC line to resell to its members in the independent electrical retailing sector.
Olivetti is supplying two desktop and one mini-tower configurations, in P120, P133 and P200 chip flavours. RRPs range from u1,299 to u2,599.
According to reports, CIH plumped for Olivetti after failing to agree terms with Mitsubishi over taking on the vendor's Apricot PC brand.
The deal confirms a growing trend for electrical, office equipment and stationery buying groups to attack the computer retail market. Olivetti Consumer Products divisional manager Peter Howes hailed the deal as proof that independent electrical retailers are "now serious about addressing the very substantial opportunities that exist in the PC retail market".
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