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14/09/98 Daily Digest

Tesco takes on iMac too

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Tesco flogs Apples of the computer variety Tesco is adding a new variety of apple to its shelves when it begins a one month pilot scheme to market the new iMac. The computer will be available at the two largest stores, one in Stirling, Scotland, and the other in Cardiff, Wales. Jon Molyneux, managing director for Apple UK, said: "Since the iMac concept was launched in May, we have been looking at a number of options to expand our retail presence. Tesco is clearly committed to exploiting the benefits the Internet can offer all of us as consumers. It seems a natural place to test market iMac." Tesco's product development manager for personal computers, Ian Sinclair, said that Tesco supported the iMac because it was consumer oriented. "The iMac has been designed to let people connect to the Internet very simply," he said. The marketing programme will include in-store demonstrations, local advertising and PR campaigns and point of sale literature. Tesco will also take opportunity to promote its TescoNet service by including it in the demonstrations. Tesco extends Fujitsu contract Supermarket giant Tesco has dealt out another bloody nose to the retail PC channel. Today at its newest superstore, in Cardiff, Tesco will start selling Fujitsu PII 350Mhz PCs for £899.99 (inc VAT). The T-Bird PCs come with 64Mb SDRam, 4.3Gb hard drive, internal 56K modem, a 15" monitor and run Windows 98. In July, Tesco began selling PCs from Fujitsu and Siemens Nixdorf as part of a trial. When the Fujitsu PCs went on sale at Tesco's store in New Malden, Surrey, more than 700 were sold within the first two weeks. One happy shopper is said to have undertaken a round trip of some 300 miles to buy six of the Fujitsu 266Mhz PCs, which were selling at £799.99. A representative of Tesco said the supermarket chain had shaken the traditional PC retailer. "You only have to look at the sort of deals and bundles some of them started putting together in the wake of our trial to see that we have had a major impact on their business." Fujitsu already sells PCs through supermarkets in France and Germany and claims it is committed to driving down the purchase price of home PCs to make them accessible to a wider income group. Laurence Knott, head of Fujitsu's home PC division, said: "We were always sure this would be a success and we are delighted that we have proved that it is possible to deliver current technology at such keen prices through Tesco stores." Dicom takes bite of Swiss start-up Dicom Group PLC, the Anglo-Swiss distributor of document imaging products, has snaffled up a 35 per cent in Base-Net Informatik for CHF420,000 in cash. Base-Net is a start-up company specialising in software for the banking industry. The company began trading in Autum 1997 and has yet to complete its first financial accounting period, which ends 31 December 1998. The transaction is to be handled through Dialog Holdings AG, a wholly-owned Dicom subsidiary. Urs Niederberger, DICOM's Finance Director, will join the Board of BASE-NET as a non-executive director. Acorn appointment Acorn Group Plc has appointed Andy Greensmith (37) as Chief Financial Officer. He joins the company from the BBC, where he was treasurer. He replaces Stan Boland, who was promoted to the role of Acorn's CEO in June,1998. Storm predicts Directors at Storm, the storage distribution division of Integrated Technology (Europe) Ltd (ITE), are "confident of reaching their budgeted turnover of £90 million for the year to 31 March, 1999. Sales hit a record £61 million for the year to March 31,1998 -- up 39 per cent on 1997, while profits for the year were up 29 per cent to £2.8 million (£2.1 million),the summer edition of Storm Outlook reveals PC channel deals delivered straight to the desktop An Internet broadcast service designed for PC builders and resellers has opened up for business in the UK. Called Send-IT-Now, the ticker tape service delivers OEM news, the hottest deals as they happen straight to the desktop. Send-IT-Now! is the brainchild of George Evans, former commercial director of Microsoft DSP Datrontech and founder of the company's OEM division. More information is available from Send-IT-Now’s! Web Site Avnet issues profits warning Avnet Inc, the giant US components distributor, said it expects its Q1 fiscal 1999 earnings will fall below analyst expectations. Following the results for July, August and incoming business in the first two weeks of September, the company expects Q1 earnings before charges of between $0.80 -$0.85 per share, compared with analyst estimates of 99 cents per share. The company also to record one-time costs in connection with the previously announced reorganisation of its Electronics Marketing Group's (EMG) EMEA operations. It blames the profits fall on a "decline in demand in its core business due to continued weakness in the global electronic components market. Sales of microprocessors and sales to certain high-volume customers have been strong; however, core sales are weaker resulting in a degradation of gross profits."®

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