Avenir UK is known predominantly for its airtime distribution, compared with the activities of its French parent which also has around 800 retail stores.
Airtime will always remain as the bread and butter but Avenir UK has made significant progress into the IT and fixed line convergence space with some success. It has, to date, not built on plans to become a top accessories distributor. All that is about to change.
Accessories sales director Stuart Balaam joined Avenir just under a year ago to change the fortunes of a business, which under the old regime, was looking to take on the likes of Kondor and 20:20 in landing deals with the manufacturers.
But Balaam’s strategy has been to use the clout of the Avenir Group to get distribution to high street retailers, operators, supermarket and consumer electrical stores.
Many of these accounts have now been signed and are ready to take off. Balaam will not reveal his new client list but promises Avenir’s accessories business will double in the next year. He claims Avenir now has the best and most comcomplete product portfolio.
“We are on the cusp of making some really major breakthroughs. It’s happening all at once and it’s all going to hit at the same. It is a very exciting time for us.
“We can supply all the standard BlackBerry and Nokia products, but these are not core to our business. Our focus is very much on building exclusive brands. We have have been very selective about the brands we have taken on. Each one has a point of diff erence. We are now in a position to supply quality brands which are exclusive to Avenir Telecom.”
He is particularly proud of the exclusive global distribution deal with battery brand Energizer, announced at this year’s Mobile World Congress. Avenir Group will control all distribution globally for Energizer products such as mains and car chargers for multiple use and USB adaptors to charge a device from a PC or laptop. The Energizer launch, scheduled for June, will take place in August allowing The Energizer Battery Company and Avenir to tweak the launch campaign to perfection.
“The Energizer brand is globallytrusted and recognised all over the world. It’s potentially a product for customers who don’t necessarily want to go for (OEM) products or products from unknown Far East manufacturers. The Energizer range is going to be mass market. It’s a brand people trust and associate with quality. We will have extensive distribution. We will start with a limited number of customers and then roll out from there”.
Full article in Mobile News issue 462 – (April 26, 2010)