Global News

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Global News

 

Russian expansion for Canon
Canon is to create a new locally-based management organisation in Russia. The company says that the move is a direct response to the demands of local customers and the sustained growth of Canon’s business in the region. In what is described as a phased approach, the new Russian management team will be up and running by 2009 and planned developments in the Russian market will include a major warehouse facility in Moscow. Canon Europe also says that it intends to make further investments in other markets in the region such as Ukraine and Kazakhstan.
Speaking in St Petersburg at a Canon customer exhibition, Rainer Fuehres, Head of Emerging Markets, Canon Europe, said: "Russia is rapidly becoming one of Canon’s most significant markets. "It is already our largest market in EMEA for digital cameras and office personal products, and our fourth largest market, by total business, across the
whole EMEA region. Our investment in the region is testament to our high ambitions for the future."
Web shop launched for resellers
US wholesaler United Stationers has released a new internet shopping tool for its reseller customers. SmartSearch enables the delivery of United’s product content for nearly 40,000 products to resellers’ web storefronts based on search and navigation requests by end consumers. United says that shoppers will be able to find what they are looking for on the resellers’ websites more effectively because of the powerful search engine within SmartSearch that takes full advantage of the product content. For example, consumers are able to do easier side-by-side comparisons, more easily search for ink and toner and other supplies and accessories, and see suggestions for alternative products. "This is another major step in our continued drive to enhance the end-consumer shopping experience, and to further enable resellers’ access to technological resources that keep them strongly competitive," said Laura Gale VP of Marketing for United. "Our content initiative has been underway for several years. Now with the advent of SmartSearch, resellers have a powerful way to deliver that content to their customers in a user-friendly fashion that will increase their web sales and improve customer service."

 

United is working with several technology providers who are building SmartSearch into their platforms, with the first providers expected to go live during the fourth quarter. Those resellers who don’t use a technology provider are asked to contact their United account manager directly.
Massive job cuts by HP
Hewlett-Packard (HP) will axe almost 25,000 jobs following its acquisition of IT services firm EDS. The cuts – most of which will involve EDS employees – form part of HP’s "restructuring programme" to integrate EDS which it bought for almost $14 billion. HP said that it will take three years to implement the programme which will lead to annual savings of $1.8 billion. Around half of the job losses are expected to affect US workers. The Palo Alto-based firm will take a $1.7 billion charge this year to fund the job cuts.
The acquisition of EDS by HP – which closed at the end of August – created the world’s second largest IT services and outsourcing vendor, after IBM. New stationery stores Indian wholesale supplier and retailer Om Daily Needs is to set up a new stationery store chain. According to a report in India’s Economic Times, Om Daily Needs plans to create 100 stores in and around the New Delhi area under the name Canvas Stationery Mart. Some of the stores will be standalone operating on a franchised basis, while thers will be store-in-store areas in the group’s existing supermarket chain Daily Needs.
Profit slump at Warehouse Stationery
New Zealand’s Warehouse Stationery has seen a dramatic fall in its 12-month operating profit. For the year ending 27 July, Warehouse Stationery saw operating profit fall by 46 percent to NZ$5.1 million ($3.3 million) as yearly total sales dropped by 6.6 percent to NZ$199 million.

 

"Although Warehouse Stationery benefited from improved availability during the fourth quarter in all channels, pressure on discretionary spending had a particularly marked impact on sales of high ticket categories such as computers and furniture," said Warehouse Group CEO Ian Morrice.

 

"Whilst the cost of doing business remains an ongoing area of focus, sales growth will be critical to operating margin improvement with emphasis on small business customers, people working from home and familyneeds." However, Morrice warned that uncertainty was likely to be a feature of the New Zealand economy for some
time and that he expected the retail environment to continue to be subdued over the next 12 months.
All change for Xerox management in North America
Xerox has reorganised its sales management structure in North America. Former President of Xerox North America Jim Firestone takes up the newly created post of President of Corporate Operations.

 

This wide-ranging role sees Firestone responsible for research, strategy, information management, human resources and ethics, marketing and communications, Fuji Xerox relations, and Xerox’s environmental sustainability initiatives. Xerox’s North American sales operations have been reorganised into two new divisions, Channels and Solutions. Leading the North American Channels group is Russell Peacock, formerly head of the Office group. The Channels group includes Xerox’s partnerships with agents, resellers, distributors and its subsidiary Global Imaging Systems. Peacock’s post at the Office group has been taken on by Rick Dastin.

 

The new Solutions group – which includes all direct sales and service in the US and Canada – is to be run by Doug Lord, who moves up from head of US sales. CEO Anne Mulcahy said that the changes would increase organisational support and strengthen global and major US account relationships.
Snub for buy-out offer
Metro-owned Media Markt has rejected an informal approach from DSG International to see whether the German retailer was interested in acquiring its beleaguered British rival according to a report in ft.com. DSGi, owner of Currys and PC World, met with Media Markt to see whether it would be interested in buying the group, according to sources close to both companies. They claim that talks between John Browett, who joined DSGi from Tesco in December last year, and his counterpart at Metro, Eckhard Cordes, a renowned dealmaker have broken down as the German company feels the sheer scale of the operation would be too difficult to assimilate.

 

However, according to Reuters.com, DSGi denies that the talks ever took place. "We are not in any discussions whatsoever with Metro," said a spokesman for DSGi. Metro and Media Markt have also declined to comment. DSGi has announced it will make a first-half loss and reported a 7 percent like-for-like sales decline across its different chains.
The Group is also under pressure from the imminent arrival in Europe of the US electronics chain Best Buy.
Following hot on the heels of DSGi’s disappointing results, Europe’s third largest electronics retailer Kesa says it expects its UK Comet business to make a half-yearly loss. In a trading statement to report its quarterly results to 31 July, Kesa said that like-for-like sales at Comet stores were down by almost 10 percent. "This quarter has, as anticipated, been very tough," said CEO Jean-Noel Labroue. "Trading conditions across all our markets deteriorated, particularly in the UK, and have not changed since the period end."
Software & training alliance
UK-based sales software provider sales-i has teamed up with US training and consulting firm Maximum Performance Group to develop its business in the North American market.

 

Maximum Performance Group is headed by Jeff Gardner, a well-known figure on the OP circuit and a regular contributor to OPI publications. "I have been searching for a sales intelligence system to offer to my clients for years and I’m glad to say I finally found the right solution: sales-i," said Gardner.

 

"I’ve reviewed the other sales intelligence products and they just don’t measure up. sales-i leaps over those products by bringing
a next generation sales intelligence system to US office product dealers."
Mergers and Acquisitions
Montreal-based imaging supplier Lazer Essentials has acquired the Canadian operations of compatible supplies manufacturer Barouh Eaton Canada. Barouh Eaton trades under the Ko-Rec-Type brand name and claims to be the biggest compatible imaging supplier in Canada."Ko-Rec-Type is the perfect complement to Lazer Essentials in its plans for growth and further enhancement of its marketing directive for serving a broader customer base across Canada," commented Jeff Birenbaum, President of Lazer Essentials.(Montreal, Canada)
Compatible imaging supplies company Katun has been acquired by private equity fund Monomoy Capital Partners. The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, but Katun’s existing management team – including CEO Carlyle Singer – will remain in place. "This transaction begins a new chapter in Katun’s almost 30-year history," said Singer. "It allows Katun to leverage recent technical breakthroughs in complex colour and monochrome laser products by expanding its investment capabilities in product development." Katun also says that Monomoy will help the company achieve efficiencies in its operating and supply chain models. (Minneapolis,USA)
US retailer Target has acquired two Arizona office furniture companies though its Target Commercial Interiors subsidiary. Walsh Brothers and US Business Interiors have been purchased for an undisclosed sum, heralding Target Commercial Interiors’ move into the south-west market. The showrooms of the newly acquired business will be rebranded and will focus primarily on home offices, small offices and design services for business interiors. Target Commercial Interiors already operates in the states of Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois and Washington. (Phoenix (AZ) USA)