Distributor Peak Development has teamed up with tech accessories vendor Bitmore to launch a new range of affordable audio gear. Dominic Sacco speaks to Peak’s product manager Paul Dutton to find out more…
Tell us about the Bitmore brand. What makes it different and what does it offer retailers?
Bitmore is a brand that has been around for a number of years and is well respected in certain areas. It sells really well on airlines. While it’s not our brand, it belongs to Nuwave Channel Partners (who we work with and have done for a long time). We started to talk with retailers about what they want from a solution to hit 80 per cent of the market.
By that what I mean is you can sell higher end headphones and power banks, but there is a requirement for a good brand rather than a better and a best brand. And people are starting to say: “I want something that shows little or no conflict, but something I can offer to my customers, because my customers come to me, rather than my customers come for a brand.”
So it wouldn’t conflict with the likes of Beats?
No. To give you an idea, we launched the range of headphones in March and none of the products retail for more than £29.99. The simple reason for that is that’s where most of the market is. If you look around your office there may be people with Beats headphones on and people with other headphones, and the other headphones certainly fall in that other category of less than £30.
How closely do you work with retailers on the development side?
What we decided with Bitmore is to get retailers involved right from the word go. So for example, is this packaging right for the retailer, yes or no? Will this packaging look right on a retailer’s shelves? We had one example where we changed the packaging of a product because it couldn’t be opened easily in a certain environment. These are the things that retailers like to get involved with from the word go, and as such they’ve already got respect for the brand.
What kind of experience does Peak have in the tech market?
Peak has been around for just over 20 years, working with various retailers and resellers. We’re seen as a trusted partner for our vendors but really most importantly our retailers. What really sets us apart is unlike other distributors we don’t deal with hundreds and hundreds of different vendors. Our vendors have to compete in the retail space – especially in the UK – so they shouldn’t have to compete on one of their partner’s sales floors.
What that means is our retailers get great product knowledge. Some of our guys know products better than anybody. And it also means that the retailers get given every opportunity from a vendor, rather than what some sales person on a distribution sales floor thinks is the right product for them.
What are your core product categories?
We’ve been doing flash memory since 1993 and we’re probably the most experienced flash memory distributor in the UK. We’ve got a lot of customers and we focus heavily on vendor SanDisk. The outdoor bags and sport and leisure category is big for us, we do a lot of industrial work, plus we supply action cameras. We’re focusing heavily on no more than ten vendors.
Audio is also very big for us. However, our aim is not to be the biggest distributor of audio, our aim is to be a trusted partner of high quality brands. Sony, Sennheiser and Veho are great partners of ours – we’re doing great work with all three of those, but obviously we want to bring in brands such as Bitmore so then we’ve truly got a best range.
What’s next for Peak Development?
We’re aiming to launch outdoor activity wearable devices in the next few months. We are also looking for growth. We’d be really interested in listening to any retailers and vendors that want to partner with us. We do offer something different to your standard distributor and we offer true focus. And that’s focus for our customers and our retailers.