As we were putting the magazine to press this month, Exertis’ parent company DCC made a shock announcement that it had acquired rival distie Computers Unlimited.
In a statement the pair described Computers Unlimited’s business model and Exertis’ commercial structure as an ‘excellent strategic fit’, thanks to the former’s range of professional creative, Apple and digital home products, which bring new categories into the Exertis portfolio.
The £24 million deal is the latest move that marks the Exertis family as a true distribution powerhouse – it acquired Swedish tech distributor CapTech last September, and in late 2013 the likes of Gem, Micro-P and MSE were rebranded under the Exertis banner.
The company also has plans to develop a new purpose built 450,000 sq ft UK national distribution centre over the next few years, and its latest financial statement shows that DCC Technology made profits of £50 million in 2014.
It’s certainly news to give the other UK tech channel distie giants food for thought. Back in late 2013 Exertis told us it would be making big investments and acquisitions, and it has stayed true to its word. Rivals will have to keep a close eye on its movements over the next few years and react accordingly – it seems the big are getting bigger with potentially less room on the table for smaller fry. And with developments like the smart home, Internet of Things and wearables, the market is undoubtedly more competitive than it has been.
The same can be said for IT retailers and resellers. More and more are turning to managed services and B2B sales in search of greater revenue opportunities, as margins in the consumer market become even more tightly squeezed.
It won’t be plain sailing – national retailers and etail giants are upping their focus on the SMB market, with the likes of Amazon, John Lewis and Ebuyer outlining aggressive new initiatives in that sector.
But there’s one thing those guys don’t have: a highly specialist service (consisting of repairs, system building and the irrefutable knowledge of a local PC dealer).