Compaq scraps channel-only volume sales policy

Same price through Web or through dealer

Compaq today halted its channel-only policy on selling volume orders in the UK. The vendor is to offer the same price on kit to both resellers and end-users. Customers will view this price on the Compaq.com Website, and either buy direct online, or pay for extra services through a reseller. This means resellers will no longer have the advantage of discounted products for corporate orders. The scheme, which covers all commercial PCs, storage products and Intel-based servers, will be implemented across Western Europe by the third quarter of next year, the company said. From today, users can buy the Prosignia small business range direct over the Web. All other products will be available online by January. Customers will still be able to buy through the traditional reseller method. Compaq also said it would choose a handful of resellers to be subcontractors for services such as configuration and delivery. David Wright, Compaq commercial PC director, said: "We want to remove inventory from the model overall. "There are too many people involved in the supply chain." The company said it still needed resellers for services. Despite this, it is still continuing its own services business. Peter Crane, marketing manager at Birmingham reseller PSM Micro Computers, said the move could push the channel into the arms of Compaq’s competitiors. "This is a bit of a slap in the face for the channel. "And I think that other reseller will be looking very closely at increasing sales with other vendors, such as IBM and HP." ®

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