US PC manufacturer Gateway is returning to the UK after leaving nearly four years ago due to financial difficulties.
Gateway first came to the UK in 1993, but in September 2001 the company announced it would be pulling out of all countries outside the US, culling 5,000 jobs.
A representative for Gateway told CRN that an official announcement is expected later this week, but confirmed that the vendor has been planning on returning to the UK for some time.
Gateway posted its first profit last week after 13 consecutive quarters of losses. For the three months to 30 June 2005, Gateway reported turnover of $873m with a net profit of $17.2m. Wayne Inouye, chief executive of Gateway, said in a statement: “While we have much work to do, we believe we have a model of operational efficiency and customer intimacy that is a winner over the long term.”
James Governor, principal analyst at RedMonk, said: “Competition is always good. Gateway has had to get better at driving lower-level PCs, which is what it has probably been working on, and is now looking to expand geographically. The UK is a lot easier to do business in than many other countries.”
Richard Higgins, commercial manager at dabs.com, said: “From a channel perspective, the return of Gateway to what is already a fiercely competitive, over crowded market is likely to present tough challenges to ‘fighting brands’ who need volume to survive.”
Richard White, director of public sector services at Centerprise, and a former Gateway employee, said: “Gateway has been supplying PCs to Dixons for the last few months. When Gateway withdrew in 2001, it never committed to not returning."
“It will be interesting to see what part of the market it will operate in. I imagine it wouldn’t return in a retail capacity.”
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