2/28/2008 10:43:00 AM
‘Nokia wants just three or four distributors left’
Nokia is carrying out a review of its distribution partners, which looks set to result in major changes.
The eight distributors involved in the review face a nervy few weeks, with many expecting Nokia to slash the number of distribution partners it works with.
The manufacturer has issued a ‘Request for Information’ (RFI) to its distributors and is looking at any areas of overlap to weigh up which distributor is opening up more channels.
One distribution chief suggested that Nokia has told all the distributors to re-apply for their distribution licenses under the review.
‘Nokia wants to consolidate distribution and wants there to be just three or four left. It looks good for the bigger players,’ he added.
20:20 Mobile, Unique, Data Select, Fone Logistics, and Brightstar are the handset distributors involved, with accessories firms Dextra, Clockwork and Kondor also being reviewed.
Nokia UK chief Simon Ainslie told Mobile before Christmas that Nokia’s overall sales volumes were up, but there had been a downturn among distributors.
Operators are less reliant on distributors and are buying more stock directly. Similarly, Ainslie has intimated that he would encourage a model with the likes of Tesco and Argos where the retailers deal directly with Nokia, and a distributor will simply carry out the delivery.
One distributor said: ‘It’s definitely worrying. Nokia told us they want to understand the channels we supply and see where we add value to the Nokia brand.’