Harvey Norman introduces eMachines to Australia

Retail giant Harvey Norman has secured an exclusive deal to sell a new range of personal computers in Australia from US manufacturer eMachines.eMachines has taken the US retail market by storm in recent years with a range of extremely price-competitive personal computers, making its most spectacular gains in low-end desktops.

In July last year, the manufacturer set up an office in Melbourne and appointed Steven Klotnick as national sales and marketing manager. Klotnick has since employed a handful of staff and set up warranty agreements with AWA Technology as well as call centre support services through Datacom. While he is keen to eventually sign up many retail partners, he has signed an initial deal that sees eMachines PCs sold exclusively through Harvey Norman retail outlets for a three-month period.

The eMachines brand has become a significant player in the US desktop market, attracting up to 26 per cent of retail computer sales. The machines are developed at the same Korean facility as Hewlett-Packard's desktops (Trigem) but are boxed and priced at lower price points for the retail market.

Two models are already being advertised on Harvey Norman's Web site, one of which is bundled with a scanner, printer and five-year warranty for under $1,900. "I have got a strong belief that these machines will take a healthy share of consumer business in a very short space of time," said John Slack-Smith, Harvey Norman's general manager of computing.

Slack-Smith cheekily admitted that machines with such impressive price points will prove quite challenging to "one particular" direct-selling PC vendor that has out-priced the market for several years.

For the full story, read this week's issue of ARN (August 28), out now.

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