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Eurostar trains its distribution strategy on new product sectors

Megan Robinson
September 7, 2022

Eurostar Global has developed a niche for offering full-service distribution to carefully selected partners, and is now preparing for the next phase of its development with a move to a new warehouse

Eurostar Global Electronics is preparing to move into its brand new state-of-the-art headquarters at St Modwen Park in Stoke, from its current location in nearby
Lymedale Business Park.

The HQ, which is in the centre of the country and close to partners, boasts 43,000 square feet of space.

The move to a bigger warehouse had been planned for some time and is key to the firm’s plans for future growth, says managing director Pete Carnall.

“We’ve reached optimum capacity in the existing facilities at the revenues that we have reached,” he said. “It was imperative to get more space to develop the business and
what we can do for customers.”


Last year, Eurostar Global generated £125 million in turnover. “We can develop to become a technology service partner, as well as a hardware technology distributor,” says Carnall, who
formed the company with sales director Brett Watmough in 2007.

Brett Watmough is co-founder of Eurostar

“Our team has diverse skill sets and can offer a great service package to our partners. We want this facility to handle services, whether reverse or third-party logistics services, distribution or anything else relating to the management of products.”

Interestingly, he wants no involvement with service and repairs. “We have no interest
in operating in repairs,” says Carnall.

“There are local businesses in the repair sector doing a great job. Repairs are not our forte; we are all about distribution, logistics, systems, technology services and hardware.

“Distribution is still Eurostar’s bread and butter, and will continue to be.” Carnall adds: “Over the last five years, people have down-talked distribution like it no longer matters. They have forgotten what the value of a true distributor is.

“For some companies, mobile has become less relevant. Convergence has left us with massive IT distributors which just have a mobile department, but mobile distribution is more than a department; every consumer has a mobile device and there is a requirement for specialist distribution that deals with mobile in a bespoke way.”

Eurostar’s portfolio of vendor partners includes Sony, OnePlus, Alcatel, TCL, Emporia Telecom and IMO.

It also works with Bullitt Group to distribute Cat and Land Rover rugged phones.

Eurostar is looking to add to this list, but is careful about choosing the right partners
to avoid conflict with its current portfolio.

“We don’t want to create any conflict across the vendors,” says Carnall. “We carefully think about those we want to work with. There’s no point in putting devices into the channel that will cannibalise another brand in our portfolio.

“We look for where a vendor can add market share and fit their products into the channel.”

In one key move with a vendor over the past year, Eurostar became an official Sony Mobile distributor for the UK last October.

“This partnership with Sony was important,” says Carnall. “Sony is a premium product vendor and part of an AV [audiovisual] brand that delivers high- quality components.

“The company still has prominent brand awareness and its history goes back decades. The market may think that mobile is only about two vendors, but it’s not.”

Carnall adds that Eurostar’s deal also includes Sony AV offerings such as headsets, although not the likes of PlayStation consoles.

Secondary market

One sector of the mobile industry that Eurostar doesn’t talk too much about is the
refurbished sector.

“We have a strong presence; it’s just not something we shout about,” says Carnall.

“We already procure and deal with major partners, and the financial services and insurance sectors are some of our primary clients.

The expansion of our facilities will expand the scope for us to do this across Europe.”

Carnall points out that a circular economy also has to start with a new device, as there
cannot be a secondary device without one.

“A refurbished industry still needs new phones, which is where Eurostar comes in,” he says. “To have consistent growth, there must be sales of new devices: there’s a chain in place.”

Pete Carnall is co-founder of Eurostar

Meanwhile, Carnall sees the refurbished sector as an opportunity rather than a threat.

“If a distributor doesn’t have the skill sets to manage more than just shifting boxes, they will limit their market opportunities,” he adds.

“We started out buying end-of- life products, but we had the ability to reconfigure devices, so we’ve always been capable of managing devices.

Batteries and VR

Eurostar is also keeping its eye on the development of power-based products and battery technology.

“There’s a lot of focus for us on battery- related technology,” says Carnall. “We’re watching the evolutionary steps of battery technology and how that will affect products in our sector.”

Another area that Carnall is keeping an eye on is virtual-reality tech, which he expects to break into the mainstream after years of undelivered potential.

“VR has been around for a long time now, but it’s never evolved to a state of what I’d consider to be a mainstream day-to-day product,” he says. “I think this will change
in the next five years.”

Carnall expects the growth of VR products, events, accessories and software that combines these products to underpin a whole wider marketplace for VR to integrate with mobile and wireless devices.


Talking of how the firm has dealt with the pandemic, Carnall says Eurostar has been able to maintain an edge over some other distributors during this period.

In fact, he says, “it played in favour of our business model. We’ve spent a lot of time
understanding the international markets and procuring directly from the European market.

“Eurostar was able to get stock from Europe, so while other distributors struggled with delivery issues, Eurostar was able to plug the gap.

“We provided contingency deliveries for networks and retailers, and we were able to support partners who couldn’t get products from their regular supply chain.

They have seen what Eurostar can do and are looking to work with us directly as a result ofthis experience.”

Carnall also says that his team was key to maintaining a high level of performance during
the pandemic.

“There was an unwavering level of determination to ensure that the pandemic wasn’t going to disrupt the levels of service we strive to deliver,” he says.

Carnall adds that Brexit has had little impact on the business in terms of sales.

“We still procure products from European partners,” he says. “Our independent
procurement and direct vendor procurement haven’t been affected by Brexit.”

As part of its strategy aiding movement of products, Eurostar has a Netherlands-
based company, Eurostar Global BV, to ship products into Europe overnight through
Schiphol airport.

VR is expected to become a mainstream product in the next five years

Planning for growth

Meanwhile, in line with its bid for growth, Eurostar plans to increase staffing numbers of 65 by 20 per cent in the next six months.

And while he is excited about the various forward-looking opportunities ahead, Carnall and his Eurostar team are most excited to get going at their new home, where the distributor hopes to fulfil all its aims and visions.

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