Jarir Bookstore to distribute Toshiba mobile computers in Saudi kingdom
The market for mobile computers in Saudi Arabia is expected to grow to 50,000 units next year, a three-fold increase in as many years, according to Japanese mobile-computer manufacturer Toshiba. The company is planning to fuel the boom in mobile computers by aggressive marketing.
Toshiba this week appointed Jarir Bookstore group as its authorized distributor for Saudi Arabia, the first time it has had retail focused distribution in the Kingdom. Jarir’s appointment complements Toshiba’s existing distribution in Saudi Arabia where ABM is responsible for major accounts and servicing the small to medium business sector.
Jarir is a Saudi distributor of Information Technology (IT) products. The retailer seeks to become a leader in mobile computing vending through the new Toshiba partnership. Its goal is to secure 20 percent of this year’s projected 40,000-unit market, growing to 25 percent of next year’s 50,000.
Jarir has 11 outlets in Saudi and one in Qatar, as well as three technical service centers and three corporate sales divisions. By 2005, it plans to have 20 stores including cross-border expansion into Kuwait, Bahrain and United Arab Emirates (UAE). It has 15,000 customers visiting its stores every day, with sales turnover last year reaching 580 million Saudi riyals.
At the end of 2000, Toshiba decided to focus on the Middle East as a prime growth market. Since then, the company has boosted Middle East sales by 180 percent, giving it a regional market share of close to 25 percent.
In April last year, the region was placed under the control of the company’s European headquarters in Germany. Distribution partnerships since set up in the UAE, Muscat, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon and Egypt, have promoted Toshiba to at least a top-two market position in each country, having started virtually from scratch.
The appointment of Jarir as distributor and authorized Toshiba service center for Saudi Arabia is the latest step in an expansion that will eventually lead into Francophone West Africa.
Toshiba Corporation manufactures information and communications systems, electronic components, consumer products and power systems. Toshiba has more than 176,000 employees worldwide and annual sales of over $40 billion (2001). — (menareport.com)
© 2002 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)
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