We caught up with Triade to talk about its plans to expand in the UK

Triade: Ready to do business

Not everyone may have heard or know that much about Triade, the consumer electronics business unit of Computer 2000, but that is all set to change in the coming year.

Director Jo Ann Foreman and commercial manager Adam Gay talk to PCR.

When Tech Data acquired Triade – a successful specialist consumer electronics distributor with operations across Europe – back in 2010, UK retailers may have hardly batted an eyelid. Many would have already had an account with Computer 2000 and have been aware of its ‘Collection of Specialists’ approach. But while Computer 2000 certainly carried a wide variety of hardware and software lines, it could not at that time have been described as a specialist in consumer electronics.

It is probably fair to say that this perception still holds true for some retailers, admits Jo Ann Foreman, Triade director, UK and Ireland. “The Triade name is not really that well known in the UK. Everyone knows Computer 2000 though, and everyone knows about the capabilities that the business has in terms of stockholding and logistics, and vendor breadth. But although it has been active in the market for a while, Computer 2000 is not seen as a specialist in consumer electronics. Triade is very much a specialist and, with all the support and resources of Computer 2000 and Tech Data behind us, we intend to become one of leading distributors to UK retailers and e-tailers.”

Triade UK plans to significantly expand its vendor portfolio over the next few months. It has already added Toshiba TVs and camcorders, BenQ digital cameras, Echostar freesat boxes, New Dawn’s Viewquest, Lenco and Lava brands and many more major and specialist names will follow.

“We will give retailers a choice that is exciting and refreshing – plus a high level of service and margin potential to match.”

Adam Gay, Triade

It has also taken on the management of the Logitech and Creative brands from the PC Components division.

It has sophisticated forecasting and supply chain management systems in place already. The business has three product categories on which it is focusing – photographic, TV and home entertainment and audio – with accessories being managed as distinct area for each in addition.

Triade commercial manager, Adam Gay, comments: “We intend to bring the best-in-class brands to market in all categories. We will give retailers a choice that is exciting and refreshing – plus a high level of service and margin potential to match.

“We will move vendors into new channels and also aim to help vendors that are perhaps new or nearly new to the UK gain traction and grow.”

Gay is keen to point out that Triade works hard to meet the needs of all sorts of different customers: “We work with many nationwide chains and the number of independent customers is growing all the time. We have specific processes in place to meet the needs of different types of customers – this is true across the whole business and it’s very important in retail.

“We want customers and manufacturers to understand that, whatever their requirements, we can work with them. We can manage the ordering, billing and shipment processes. We can provide specific services and provide a full category management.”

“Such is the scale of Triade’s capabilities in the UK that we can even provide a full third–party logistics and stock–holding service,” continues Gay. “For vendors, we can manage the entire brand if necessary, handling all the marketing, merchandising, sales, promotion, demo stock, returns, everything focused around the brand and customer.”

It’s also important to note that Triade has an experienced team in place that understands the CE market and the needs of the relevant channels. Jo Anne Foreman was MD of another specialist distributor before she joined Computer 2000, while Adam Gay has more than ten years’ experience working in retail distribution.

“Triade wants to work with all channels,” concludes Gay. “From online web retailers, bricks and mortar, telcos and independent retail, not forgetting the sizeable SMB and large corporate businesses we have today. We have the depth and the scale to meet the needs of every kind of business and are already working with a diverse set of customers. The processes are there and in place, and we have a great range of products that we can ship from stock already. No–one has better logistics and distribution capabilities. We are ready to do business.”

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