Based in Holland, Club3D has been manufacturing graphics cards for more than a decade, but with more focus into Europe than the UK. With the appointment of a brand new distributor, it looks like expansion is the name of the game for 2013. KitGuru plays its hand close to its chest, while wondering if the move will be trumps for the AIB.
Kicking off with ATi in 2001, Club3D quickly added S3 and XGI (2003) as well as nVidia (2006) to its line up. At one stage, it was the only company to be offering a full range of chip options to the enthusiast market.
While the company itself is sizeable (hitting the 1 million cards sold with ATi in 2005), its presence in the UK has been muted to say the least.
Well it seems that this is about to change now that company owner Judith Ma has fully mastered motherhood – she is gunning for an increase in business even though the UK market is tight.
Key to that expansion is for Club3D to find intelligent routes to market that include non-standard distributors. In this instance, they have chosen Impact Technologies from Heywood in Lancashire. Although the disti has only been around for 4 years, it has been building a good reputation for itself and now includes AData, Crucial and LG among its most popular brands.
But why would a company like Club3D go outside the major distis like Ingram etc for a new partner?
The answer is simple: Focus.
While a smaller distributor might not have the financial muscle of the big 5, it can spend more time with each brand – and more time working to build a network of resellers across the country that feel a personal connection with Impact Technologies that they might not with a larger firm.
When KitGuru Labs recently put Club3D’s 7970 RoyalAce under the microscope for a full 21-page analysis, the result was a very creditable win. If they can keep up that kind of development, while increasing the availability across the UK, increase sales will surely follow.
KitGuru says: If Judith Ma and her team succeed with their plan to increase sales, it will be interesting to see whether that growth is organic (i.e. as part of an overall improvement in the market) or competitive (i.e. by taking food off someone else’s plate). Either way, 2013 is shaping up to be a crucial year for the channel.
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