Acer Canada has strengthened its attempt to become a leading IT manufacturer here by adding Tech Data Canada as another distribution point for its products.

“It’s probably our single biggest product announcement for this year,” said Greg Meyers, the distributor’s vice-president of marketing.

“There

seems to be more demand for their products than at any other time in Canada.”

The deal means Acer’s notebooks, LCD monitors and projectors are available now to Tech Data’s resellers. Desktop computers and servers will be added later.

The announcement was not unexpected: In November, Ingram Micro Canada began distributing some of the Acer line.

The four-month delay in adding Tech Data Canada was deliberate, said Terry Tomacek, Acer Canada’s general manager: The company didn’t want to add two major distributors at the same time.

With distribution as well through Synnex Canada, Acer now has access to 6,000 reseller outlets, Tomacek said, emphasizing that the company only deals through the channel in North America.

The overwhelming majority of those are resellers, he added, with only Radio Shack and The Bay as major retailers.

Acer is concentrating on having a modestly-priced line of products aimed at small and medium businesses as well as consumers, a strategy that has shows some signs of success.

According to the most recent figures from Evans Research, Tier Two manufacturers, including Acer, saw a combined 30 per cent increase in PC shipments in the fourth quarter of last year. By comparison Tier One vendors saw their shipments drop three per cent.

Meyers believes Acer’s strategy is working. “Where they’re focused is where demand is escalating,” he said.

Tomacek said Evans’ figures show Acer had 11 per cent of the notebook market here at the end of 2004. By this time next year he hopes it will be close to 20 per cent.

The signing of Tech Data Canada marks a coming home of sorts for Acer. Its products had been distributed by Globelle Corp. several years ago, but after that company was swallowed by Tech Data “the relationship drifted.” Acer was drifting too, split into several divisions, each with its own channel and marketing strategy.

After selling off or consolidating a number of units in 2000, the company slowly switched to an all-channel strategy around the world. In addition, it prices all product the same, regardless of customer.

Although it is adding a major distributor, aside from some marketing Acer hasn’t created any special or introductory incentives for Tech Data resellers.

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