Printer vendors Tektronix and Lexmark have overhauled their respective channels with Tektronix moving into distribution for the first time, in a deal worth u10 million.
Last week Lexmark confirmed it was signing Ingram Micro as its second broadline distributor. It has also ceased using distributor ETC after the latter said it wanted to concentrate on its PC business.
At the same time, Tektronix sent out a letter to all its dealers informing them there would be a 'fundamental change' to the channel with most of its 300-odd dealers being forced to source product through a single distributor to be appointed next month. Two out of eight distributors are fighting it out for the contract, but Tektronix refused to name names.
Kevin Jones, MD for gold reseller Printware, said: 'It's an inevitable step that we can't slow down. There will be increased competition and we expect to lose deals with new dealers giving big discounts.'
The 15 gold, and 250 silver and bronze accredited dealers will be abolished and replaced by premium-elite, premium and elite dealers. Only about 21 dealers will remain direct, seven of which will be premium-elite dealers.
Premium dealers will be focused on business products selling into corporates and elite dealers will specialise on the high-end graphics products.
Drew Nichol, UK marketing manager for Tektronix, said: 'We are expecting explosive growth from the business sector so we needed a distributor to source product.' He refused to comment on margins for the respective tiers.
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