9/14/2005 12:00:00 AM
Samsung: no deal for Carphone
Samsung UK chief Mark Mitchinson has scotched rumours that he offered The Carphone Warehouse as much as a 10% preferential discount in a bid to tame its grey spending spree.
Rumours had been circulating that Samsung UK had sought to counter the £20 advantage gained by buying grey stock and made a special case for the retailer in offering a substantial discount.
The retailer had been sourcing all its Samsung handsets from various countries in the Middle East and Europe for several weeks earlier this year, bypassing Samsung UK.
Mitchinson said: ‘We could never offer a discount like that if you knew what little money manufacturers make. We’re not in the game of discounting. There are very few manufacturers that make money. Nokia is one. We’re another one.’
Carphone is thought to be still buying a sizeable minority of its Samsung stock on the grey market, although Mitchinson wouldn’t comment. A source from a rival manufacturer estimated that between 10% and 15% of Carphone’s stock is bought on the grey market, with estimates that the retailer has a target of selling around four million handsets across prepay and post-pay.
Mitchinson (pictured) said a dedicated Samsung global account manager is being sought for Carphone’s entire business, who will report directly to Mitchinson but will look at sourcing Samsung handsets across the world. ‘It’s so we understand their needs and have a steer as to where Carphone is going, harmonise across the group and have a stronger relationship.’
The position is believed to have been borne out of discussions between Mitchinson and Carphone’s new trading director, John Durkan, who was brought in from Safeway in June this year together with purchasing director Matthew Smith.
Mitchinson maintained that grey market purchasing resulting from the varying prices of regional offices around the world was a ‘problem’ for every manufacturer, but added: ‘We don’t take it lightly. Head office has come down hard on countries which were cutting prices.’
Carphone was not available to comment as Mobile went to press.