'High Street retailers will end up being showrooms if they don't target businesses'

Context MD is heading up new Retail to Business initiative
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A new board of industry experts has called on retailers to invest in selling to businesses – or risk being left in the dust.

The Retail to Business (R2B) initiative, formed by analyst firm Context and backed by top execs from Tech Data, Maplin, Lenovo, AMD, Lexmark and more, says High Street stores can do more to better compete with the B2B reseller market.

Context says there are greater profits and average selling prices in the dealer channel, which stores can benefit from.

“Let’s stop the decline – or stores will end up being showrooms,” Adam Simon, Global MD for Retail at Context, told PCR.

“Retail needs to move away from the break-fix model for SMB, and develop service in-store."

“Don’t just focus on consumers and tablets – blur the consumer and SMB. Support the small business people and their entourage.”

Neil Berville, executive director for EMEA Channels at Lenovo and a member of the R2B board, commented:?“We have to work together as an industry to ensure both retailers and channel partners can capitalise on the exciting market opportunities ahead of them.”

Context also says UK retailers can learn from retailers such as mobile operators, who have a small corner in-store for business customers, and countries like Germany, where the retail channel in notebooks supplies 28 per cent of the market – compared to 19 per cent in the UK.

The R2B Advisory Board is currently looking for a retail CEO and vendor CEO to champion the initiative. Context will hold the inaugural Retail Summit at the Distree EMEA conference in February 2014.

Members of the R2B panel include Maplin sourcing director Peter Heath, Tech Data UK marketing director Andy Dow, Lexmark EMEA channel director and GM?Francois Feuillet, and AMD?EMEA?consumer sales director Mario Silveira.

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