Samsung has dropped 20:20 Mobile as a supplier because of issues around grey market purchasing, Mobile can reveal.
Samsung representatives delivered the news to 20:20’s purchasing team – Andrew Peat and MD Trevor Price – at the distributor’s head office in Crewe on Tuesday this week.
20:20 Mobile confirmed speculation that grey Samsung products were being traced back to the distributor.
20:20’s new CEO Meinie Oldersma said: ‘It’s not good news. We’re really disappointed that Samsung has taken such a short-term view, but the customers are the real victims here. Samsung have some beautiful products, so it’s a real pity.’
The news comes two weeks after Samsung gave 20:20’s main rival Brightstar an official distribution agreement. The manufacturer is carrying out a broader review of its partners, which is expected to put Brightstar and Data Select as its main distributors in the UK.
It is claimed that Samsung products on the grey market are 20% cheaper than through official channels.
Samsung went exclusively with 20:20 in March 2006, ending its relationship with Data Select, also for buying grey Samsung stock, but went back to Data in August last year.
Samsung is one of the biggest manufacturers in the UK, with a 23% UK market share.
20:20 is expected to keep supplying Samsung stock into the market through grey routes, with the company claiming it will not affect its profits.
Data Select suffered when it didn’t have an official arrangement with Samsung because some big retailers only buy official stock because of the importance of having arrangements for handset returns. Data Select was also left out when Samsung phones were in short supply, and only available through official channels.