French telecoms distributor Groupe Avenir Telecom has launched Avenir Accessories in the UK in a bid to grab greater share of the UK’s mobile accessories market.
The move will result in Avenir Telecom UK’s accessories division, which experienced ‘phenomenal growth’ last year, setting itself up as a separate subsidiary. Accessories now account for approximately one in five of Avenir’s total sales.
The new company will be headed up by Avenir Telecom UK MD Andy Tow.
Speaking to Mobile, Tow said the move aims to capitalise on the rapid growth of its accessories business by giving it greater focus.
Tow added: ‘We launched the new business over the Christmas period. We have reached the stage where our accessories business is big enough to be a separate business in its own right. The division has experienced phenomenal growth and we are confident we will deliver even more growth this year, so we want to give it greater focus.’
Tow declined to reveal last year’s turnover for Avenir Telecom’s accessories business but said it was in line with the wider group’s turnover. He said: ‘To give you an idea, the accessories business for Europe will deliver a projected €100m turnover this year. Group turnover last year was €540m.’
Tow said the creation of Avenir Accessories will not create any disruption at Avenir Telecom UK, since the accessories business already has a dedicated sales and marketing team and is focused on different markets. ‘The accessories business is almost exclusively focused on the consumer market while Avenir Telecom is very much focused on the mobile and IT sectors and on the b2b market,’ he said.
The new company will start out with 12 dedicated staff but Tow said he wanted to add to the team during 2012. New products scheduled for release in 2012 include a range of mobile phone cases sporting the ‘Mini Cooper’ brand, which will arrive in March. The launch is aiming to capitalise on major UK events including the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations and the London 2012 Olympics.
Tow said: ‘We expect that line to do extremely well in 2012 with these events taking place. It is an iconic brand which is seen as very, very British.’
The company also recently clinched a deal with WESC to begin distributing its headphones from March this year. Tow said the launch will be backed by WESC’s UK marketing plans. He said: ‘This is an über cool brand and WESC is investing a lot of PR as it launches into the UK market.’
Avenir Accessories will also begin distributing the Olloclip, a 3-in-1 fish-eye, wide-angle and micro clip-on lens for the iPhone 4 and 4S. Other products set for launch include licensed items such as Manga-branded phone cases and Rebecca Bonbon – a sister product to Avenir’s Hello Kitty range of phone cases.
Tow said Avenir’s top selling accessory is currently the BeeWi helicopter, which operates through a Bluetooth connection on Android smartphones and iOS devices. The helicopter has been shortlisted in the Bluetooth awards at CES in Las Vegas this year.
Meanwhile, Avenir Accessories is planning to launch a new division concentrating on accessories for the cable market in 2012.
‘Paris in the Springtime’
Avenir Telecom has launched a new incentive scheme for dealers with Orange, T-Mobile and Nokia to mark the launch of the manufacturer’s flagship Lumia 800 device.
The incentive, dubbed ‘Paris in the Springtime’, offers dealers the chance to win French-themed prizes in return for points for making new Orange and T-Mobile business voice connections and selling Nokia handsets. Extra points will be given for each new Nokia Lumia 800 phone sold.
Avenir MD Andy Tow said: ‘This is the first incentive that Avenir Telecom has run jointly with Orange, T-Mobile and Nokia and we anticipate that it will provide our dealers with a great motivational start to 2012.’